State of Care report

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual overview of health and social care in England has been released (State of Care – 10th October 1017). It is based on 29,000 services, of which 21,000 are social care services. As well as inspection data, it also includes incorporates surveys and industry leader opinion.

The State of Care report last year famously declared social care as at a ‘tipping point’, based upon a number of factors including:

  • Reducing bed numbers
  • Quality
  • Funding
  • Unmet need
  • Market fragility

The report this year refers to the sector’s outlook as ‘precarious’. It describes it as at full stretch and with no more give in the system. It argues that this is compounded by:

  • Regional differences
  • Cost Issues
  • Complexity of care
  • Access to services
  • Reliance on goodwill of staff and staff resilience

However, the report shows despite pressures, care is still being delivered well, as well as safely, in the majority of cases. The CQC stress that results are a credit to staff, management and leaders in the sector, who have maintained quality despite hardship.

However, it is clear that pressure will continue to mount, should nothing change. Some key concerns that are raised in the report are:

  • There are 90,000 staff vacancies in social care (enough to fill Wembley stadium). This has been compounded by the minimum and living wage, as well as Brexit to a degree.
  • There are 1.2 million people with unmet care needs (enough to fill 15 Wembley Stadiums!). This represents an increase of 18% on 2015/2016.
  • There has been a further decrease nursing home beds – 4,000 since March 2015
  • 43 Councils reporting homecare contracts being handed back in 2016/17

Of course, with the over 85 population set to double in the next 20 years, the pressure is on to find a long-term solution for funding.

What will this mean for you?

 CQC say that they understand that care providers are suffering this hardship. However, this does not mean that inspectors will suddenly be taking a soft touch. They have a number of concerns which they identify in the report that they will continue to mark down such as the failure to document your actions appropriately.

However, three areas that were continually discussed by CQC at the recent Care Show in Birmingham were:

  • More targeting based on risk
  • Creative use of information
  • Continual focus on compliance with the Mental Capacity Act

 

If you wish to discuss the State of Care report with a member of our team, then please call us on 01452 300888.

 

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