The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published its annual State of Care report. The report shows that in every region in England, over the last 12 months, more providers of social care are rated as “Good” or “Outstanding” than in the previous year:

  • 1 in 5 adult social care services are now rated as “Good”
  • A further 282 services are providing care to people rated as “Outstanding” (4%) over the past year compared to last year
  • The quality of care in community social care services is particularly high.

The report highlights the need for a better system of care for people with a learning disability or autism and inspectors are reporting too many mental health and learning disability services with people who lack the skills, training, experience or clinical support to care for patients with such complex needs.

It’s unsurprising that the report highlights the well-trodden issue of the pressure caused by the lack of funding. There is a veiled criticism about the continued absence of a Social Care Green Paper and the resultant lack of consensus on how social care should be funded in the future. The issue of funding is having an ongoing impact on the ability to improve the other well known about challenges in the sector. The report highlights these as:

  • The continuation of workforce pressures: some organisations are coping with this through improving how they value and care for staff teams, however others fare this less well
  • Difficulties in accessing services: some stark statistics show that fewer than half of all people with dementia and who use social care are getting regular reviews
  • Inconsistent integration: there is evidence of better and stronger health and social care integration and collaboration, but this is uneven and needs to improve.

On the positive side, the report acknowledges that innovation and technology are making inroads into the way care is delivered and notes that improving efficiency and communication is at the heart of delivering high quality care. There remain barriers, however, including a lack of funding and staff fear of technology.

Read the CQC’s annual State of Care report in full here.

How can we help?

We have a dedicated social care team at Capsticks who are here to help you with CQC and regulatory issues. The CQC states in the report that CQC ratings can be a barrier to recruiting good staff, indicating that it continues to be business critical to secure “Good” or “Outstanding” CQC ratings. What has struck us over the past year is that on many occasions the draft inspection reports continue to contain many factual inaccuracies and more worryingly, where it is clearly proportionate to do so, CQC inspectors are not using their discretion properly in order to depart from the ratings principles. This results in unfair overall ratings for locations and organisations.

We have helped many organisations to use the factual accuracy process effectively to ensure that the resultant published report and ratings are fair, balanced and accurate. For more information, contact Ian Cooper or Siwan Griffiths.