Today the CQC has published its fifth annual report on the state of health and care services in England, which has revealed frontline staff delivering excellent care but also poor services where people are not getting the care they should expect.

The CQC also found that while most hospitals are rated at least good for the way they care for people, the majority require improvement when it comes to keeping people safe.

Responding to the report, Richard Taunt, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, comments:

'This report shines a light on the state of health care quality in England. A notable finding from the report is that the majority of providers of care require improvement to keep people safe in their care. 

'It is now vital that providers of health care use these findings as a spark to take active measures where necessary to improve the care they provide.

'It is also important to acknowledge that health care staff do not come in to work to cause harm. In the vast majority of cases it is the systems, procedures, conditions, environment and constraints they face that lead to safety problems.

'Providing the safest care for patients is challenging and takes persistence, but it has to be all health care staff’s professional duty and personal responsibility. Local teams must be empowered and skilled up to work out their own ways to improve safety.

'For instance, we have supported a number of trusts with one identifying high unplanned readmissions rates putting elderly patients at risk. By improving joint working and communications, admissions have reduced by 38% and made an estimated saving of £500k in year one.

'To make care as safe as it can be for patients, health care organisations must be responsive to past problems, alert to current and emerging problems, and be able to anticipate future problems by ensuring safe systems are in place across the organisation.'

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