Personal Assistant Survey – The Forgotten Workforce
12 July 2022
Resource Type: Case study
Categories: Personalised care and support planning, Person-centred care
Publishing body: Membership Organisation
Around 70,000 people in England employ a personal assistant (PA), usually through taking a direct payment or personal health budget. What was the experience of people who employ a PA of recruiting and retaining them between March 2020 and January 2022?
This report, based on a survey response of nearly 1,000 people who employ a personal assistant, describes the challenges faced by people trying to find the support they need in an increasingly fragile market experiencing shortages of social care staff across the whole sector.
We find that PA recruitment has got harder, both in terms of a shortage of applicants and their suitability for the work. Low pay, poor terms and conditions, and restrictions by funders on what people can pay PAs are the primary drivers for this, alongside the impact of the Covid pandemic.
This report brings people’s real experiences to life and should be required reading for social workers and all those who work with direct payment recipients. Our findings should be a call to action for councils, NHS funders and government.