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Individual employers and personal assistants

Data correct as at 2022/23

Next update due: March 2024

This report provides information about direct payment recipients and their personal assistants in England. It includes key figures about the size and profile of the personal assistant workforce, turnover rates, pay rates and other workforce information. 

For the first time Skills for Care has published data from adult social care direct payment funded employers and personal health budget funded employers in one report and data visualisation.


Downloading the visualisation and notes about the data

  • You can also download a PDF or PowerPoint version by clicking on the arrow found at the bottom right of the visualisation.
  • There are notes about the data when you hover over the ( i ) in the visualisation.
  • For information about how workforce estimates are created or rounding and suppression rules please visit our webpage on methodology.
  • If you require data that isn’t available in the visualisation or report below, please contact us.


Key findings

Social care direct payment funded employers

  • Information from NHS England (formerly NHS Digital) SALT data return shows that around 215,000 adults, older people and carers were receiving social care direct payments from local authorities, in England, in 2022.
  • Skills for Care estimates that approximately 32% of social care direct payment recipients, or 69,000 individuals, directly employed their own staff.
  • The estimated proportion of direct payment recipients employing PAs has remained stable at around 30% between 2014 and 2021.
  • Social care direct payment funded employers employed, on average, 1.87 PAs each, creating an estimated 130,000 filled posts in 2022/23.
  • PAs of social care direct payment funded individual employers held an average of 1.29 PA filled posts each, meaning that around 99,000 people were carrying out 130,000 filled posts in 2022/23.


Personal health budget funded employers

  • A total of 144,682 people received personal health budgets by the end of Quarter three 2022-23. This included 128,067 adults and 16,615 children and young people.
  • Almost a fifth (19%) of all Personal Health Budgets were delivered as direct payments (27,343). And a significant number were used to directly employ PAs.
  • Currently no data is collected, at a national level, on numbers of personal health budget holders employing PAs or numbers of PAs employed. This means that creating an estimate of PAs working for personal health budget funded employers is not possible.
  • PAs of personal health budget funded employers worked for more than one employer, having, on average, 1.20 jobs each. 



Further resources

  • For more information about direct payment recipients, trend information and other individuals employer their own staff, please see the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England data visualisation.
  • Skills for Care has a range of resources to support individual employers and personal assistants in our information hub.

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