Immediate reforms necessary, says care regulator in State of Care report
The government must immediately tackle longstanding issues in adult social care around funding and operational support and offer a new deal for the care workforce, the Care Quality Commission has warned.
The CQC’s annual State of Care report has also warned that improvement is necessary in mental health services, where inspectors continued to find poor care in inpatient wards for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. It found the overall proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 4% to 13% – almost entirely based on deterioration in independent services, rather than NHS services.
The report also warned that the social care sector was “fragile” as a result of the lack of a long-term funding solution, and that “further shocks to the labour market,” even before the coronavirus pandemic, “would be expected to increase the existing level of market fragility, place more pressure on local authority finances and could increase unmet care needs.”
Releasing the report, Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said “Covid is magnifying inequalities across the health and care system – a seismic upheaval which has disproportionately affected some more than others and risks turning fault lines into chasms.
“As we adjust to a Covid age, the focus must be on shaping a fairer health and care system – both for people who use services, and for those who work in them.”
Responding to the report, James Bullion, ADASS President has called on Government to urgently bring forward its reform proposals and to use the Spending Review to prioritise care and support, saying: "This report paints a stark picture of the way that Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities and disproportionately affected those of us from black and minority ethnic communities, older people, people with learning disabilities and or autism, those living with mental health conditions, those who are homeless and those living in domestically abusive situations.”
You can read the full report and its recommendations at https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care
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