Care Quality Commission publishes its fifth annual report on the state of health and care services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) say over the past year inspections have found front line staff delivering excellent care. But inspectors have also found poor services where people were not getting the care they should expect. CQC says this variation in the quality and safety of care in England is too wide and unacceptable and has a detrimental impact on people who use health and care services and their families.

'State of Care' gives CQC’s perspective on the state of health and adult social care in England in 2013/14. It offers a unique perspective across more than 40,000 health and care services.

As far as adult social care is concerned, CQC says there were many examples of excellent care being delivered and providers need to look at those who are doing it well and learn from them. Good leadership was also central to people receiving high-quality care. Care provided by care homes with a registered manager in place was substantially better than by those homes that had not had a registered manager in place for six months or more.

But among the areas for improvement, CQC highlighted the significant variation in the quality of adult social care. In particular, people living in nursing homes tend to receive much poorer care than those living in residential care homes. Encouraging more nurses to work in the care home sector should be a higher priority. In 2013/14, one in five nursing homes did not have enough staff on duty to ensure residents received good, safe care.

CQC’s chief executive, David Behan said: "The findings from our inspections over the last year clearly show there is too much variation in quality and safety between services and within services. People need to have confidence that they will get good care. Our role is to identify what works well and why, and what doesn’t work, and use this information to drive improvement and close the gap.
 
"We have seen some excellent care in all sectors. For example the care home where we saw how supporting people living with dementia was built into each care plan.

"But we have also seen very poor care, such as the care home that inspectors found smelling of urine and where residents were still in bed at 10.30am, with many not getting the help they needed to eat breakfast.

"From our inspections, the safety of services is our biggest concern. Care providers must make the basics of safe care a priority and build a culture of safety in their organisations, learning from the best. The principle of keeping people safe from harm is fundamental. Strong, effective leadership at all levels in an organisation is vital."

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