The future (of the future) adult social care workforce – key issues for leaders

Rhidian Hughes (Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, UK; King's College London, London, UK; Centre for Workforce Intelligence and Mouchel plc, London and Woking, UK)

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services

ISSN: 1747-9886

Publication date: 11 May 2012



The purpose of this paper is to identify and review the leadership challenges in workforce planning, paying special reference to adult social care primarily in England (UK) whilst raising leadership issues that have international resonance.


This is a viewpoint which presents a distillation of key issues, challenges and relevant literature spanning workforce planning, human resources and social care.


The paper finds that growing demands on services, rising expectations for personalised care and support, together with the provision of safe and effective joined up care are some of the key drivers facing social care and wider public services. Leaders need to ensure a robust data and evidence base, sound interpretation of intelligence as well as building integrated approaches to workforce planning both within and between services.

Practical implications

Workforce leadership provides the bedrock to ensuring social care builds the workforce required for the future. As services undergo redesign and transformation the workforce planning task is more important now than ever and is a key responsibility for every organisation's leadership, including chief executives, commissioners and workforce specialists.


Workforce planning in social care is afforded relatively little attention and the analysis presented in this paper provides the stimulus for debate.



Hughes, R. (2012), "The future (of the future) adult social care workforce – key issues for leaders", International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 90-98.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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