Reducing Social Care’s workforce shortfall

A person in care outdoors with their social care worker

The brief

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) had a workforce challenge and wanted to reduce their shortfall of social care workers across the UK.

We were the ideal delivery partner to help DHSC come up with solutions to this problem, having delivered the new NHS Jobs service.


Social care recruitment across the UK involved various care providers, numerous sources of information on how to pursue a career in Social Care, and disparate recruitment tools and processes.

We delivered a 10 week Discovery into social care recruitment to help decide whether or not a centralised social care job board or service could reduce the staffing shortfall.

Complete service blueprint for social care jobs service
Social care jobs prototype


We carried out user research with Care Professionals, Recruiters (individual, small, large, and public sector), Local Authorities, Skills for Care, and DHSC staff.

We turned our findings into user personas, process maps, and hypothetical solutions for usability testing to aid research and build empathy in stakeholders, highlighting user frustrations with the status quo.

We then worked with the DWP, CQC, and NHSBSA to find opportunities for reusing existing and future services to ensure the service provided the best value for money.

Altogether, this informed our options appraisal report, assessing the benefits of buying and implementing vs building solutions – complete with cost and impact analysis and Alpha recommendations for stakeholders to consider.


  • Accurately measured the size and scale of the workforce shortfall that needed to be addressed.
  • Set the direction of travel for the service and Alpha phase actions.
  • Made DHSC aware of underlying social care recruitment challenges, e.g. public perception of the profession.
  • Helped stakeholders empathise with the real-world needs and experiences of people pursuing a career in social care.

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Photo of Danielle Hendy

Danielle Hendy
Engagement Executive

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