‘It is testimony to the hard work and determination of staff that the CQC ratings have generally remained stable in most health and care services compared to last year. This is an impressive achievement given the strain that all services are under, with staff shortages, rising demand and historic underinvestment in vital areas such as buildings and equipment.
‘But today’s report also highlights deeply worrying poor care for people with severe mental health conditions, autism and learning disabilities. Too often people are cared for in inappropriate settings, like emergency departments, or are forced to travel miles from home to access inpatient services run by poorly trained staff. The increase in the number of these services rated as inadequate by the CQC indicates systemic failings that are bigger than any single provider. Urgent action is required to address the national shortage of skilled staff, alongside better access to community services which would support people to live more independently.
‘Yesterday’s Queen’s speech included yet another promise to reform social care but action counts more than words. For the fourth year in a row, the CQC has raised concerns about the fragility of the social care system which is at risk of collapse. The government must invest urgently in social care to stabilise the provider market, provide better access for people most in need, and protect them from the risk of catastrophic costs.’
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