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T​ackling the challenges ahead: State of the Sector Report 2024

0​8 May 2024

The State of the Sector report, a collaborative report between TSA and PA Consulting, was compiled using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research. This included analysis of primary data (online surveys and TSA data sets) as well as secondary data from sector stakeholder literature and national data sets (ONS, NHS etc.) From this research, the report identified the key challenges Councils are facing , providing us with important context for the current state of the sector.

'From ambition to action' State of the Sector report 2024

The challenges the Councils need to overcome to achieve their TEC objectives over the next 12 months can be summarised as financial pressure, integration of health and social care, workforce and the digital challenge:

Financial pressures

Local authorities across the UK are in the midst of a dire financial situation. At the time of writing, eight councils have issued section 114 notices in the last six years, of which seven were unable to balance their budgets. Many more local authorities fear they will follow suit. Up until 2018, just two councils had issued notices since the legislation came into force in 1989. Adult social care alone accounts for more than a third of spending for unitary and county councils in England, and there are rising concerns about local government’s ability to carry out its statutory duties. It’s a similar picture within the health system, with growing waiting lists and delays.

TEC offers solutions that can help shift the focus towards prevention – reducing the cost of care and driving better outcomes for the public. The overriding message emerging from commissioners is that TEC is now integral to the ways in which councils are addressing the rise in demand for care support from people with increasingly complex needs.

Integration across health and social care

Collaboration across social care and health has the potential to deliver joined-up care through integrated pathways, but progress is patchy. Councils identified the third largest challenge in achieving their TEC ambition as developing an integrated approach across health and social care. However, only 27% of councils have stated that they either have firm plans to address this or are already making good progress in addressing this challenge.

Workforce challenges

At the heart of the TEC workforce are call handlers, responders, technology assessors and installers. But in reality the workforce extends far beyond those core roles, cutting across social care, the NHS, housing and many other sectors. A key challenge in realising the TEC opportunity is changing the workforce’s culture so that TEC becomes embedded in ways of working. Sustained culture change is achieved when the workforce confidently advocates for TEC within care packages because they believe it enables people to live the lives they want. Councils aim to raise awareness about TEC and encourage care and health practitioners to use it to support people.

After budget pressures, care providers believe digital skills is the biggest barrier to TEC being more widely adopted. Some 21% of the adult social care workforce say they are “too busy to undertake training and development in digital skills” and 16% say their employers are not offering the necessary training.

The digital challenge

Digital exclusion is a key challenge, and growth in the popularity of technology is likely to exacerbate the UK’s digital divide as costs and skills gaps leave some sections of society marginalised. Lack of skills and confidence has been cited as the biggest barrier to wider use of technology by both NHS and Carers UK. On top of that, 2.5 million households struggle to afford fixed broadband and 1 in 14 have no home internet access. Another key challenge is the digital migration, which is due to be completed by the end of 2025. While the digital migration brings with it many opportunities, there are concerns about the deliverability of full transition across the UK. The unreliability of digital connectivity via broadband and mobile SIM cards has been identified as a top five concern for the first time in the TSA’s annual TEC Sector Risk Survey for 2023.

To read more, download the full report here

If you have any questions, please email

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