Building an up-to-date understanding of the carer workforce in Essex

Yearly waves of the survey

Responses received from care workers in three years

Number of posts in adult social care in Essex


Essex County Council holds responsibility for adult social care across the county of Essex and outsources most of its care duties to private providers. The state of the carer workforce is of high interest to the council, and there was a need to understand the issues and challenges that carers in the county faced in order to implement strategies to address them so that high quality social care could continue to be provided.

Enventure Research was commissioned to deliver three yearly waves of research to give an up-to-date insight into the care worker workforce in Essex.


The questionnaire was co-designed by Essex County Council and Enventure Research, using some repeated questions each year for tracking purposes and new topical questions each wave. The questionnaire explored topics such as current roles, motivations for working in the sector, issues related to recruitment and retention, future intentions and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Equality monitoring information was also collected to aid ECC’s understanding of the diversity of the workforce.

An online survey methodology was used, with personalised email invitations sent to those who had given permission to be contacted. Enventure Research also provided an open-access link to the council, which was promoted on the Essex Care Provider Information Hub, via the Essex Care Association and using social media. Paper copies of the questionnaire were also made available for those who wished to provide an offline response.

As an incentive to take part, respondents were offered the opportunity to participate in a prize draw to win gift cards to optimise the response rate.


Over three years, a total of 1,064 care workers took part in the survey.

Enventure Research provided Essex County Council with comprehensive reports following each wave that showed the findings in easy to understand charts, tables and infographics with detailed analysis and supplementary commentary. The reports also included valuable recommendations for tangible actions that the council could take to improve working conditions for care workers in the county.

In addition, Enventure Research presented the key findings each year at a number of care provider forums hosted by the council.

Findings from the research has helped inform strategies to address issues and challenges to ensure high quality social care services continued to be provided to Essex residents.

“Andrew was absolutely excellent. He understood our requirements and delivered brilliantly on all parts of the project. Thanks so much for your hard work and dedication Andrew.”

Tom Bendy

Procurement Manager, Essex County Council