The Care Quality Commission’s report has been met with concern from the social care sector.
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “This is the second year in a row that the chief inspector at CQC has had to outline the precarious state of social care to Parliament. Parliament can ill afford to ignore the warnings from CQC; there is an urgent need for a long term funding settlement that will reach the frontline and support sustainable quality services”.
Care England is leading on high profile policy and strategy developments on behalf of providers. It has been triangulating a range of publically available intelligence to consider how well local systems are working and welcome this updated narrative and data from CQC.
Professor Green added: “There is a lot of uncertainty in the sector and by dragging its heels on the social care Green Paper, Government simply cannot abdicate responsibility for those in need of care, especially those funded by local authorities.”
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, said: “It would be a tragedy if the NHS’s 70th birthday was remembered as the year England’s care system collapsed, but today’s report reveals real concerns that mental health and social care services are not sustainable.
“Let no-one misunderstand what is being said here – the health and care system is managing well, with some improvements in safety, but its future is precarious. And one in eight older people are not getting the help they need.
“There are fewer nursing home beds and home care contracts are being handed back because there is not enough money to pay for the care that is needed.”
Janet Morrison, chief executive of the charity Independent Age, said: “While the report rightly acknowledges improvements made in some areas, others have seen a deterioration of care services, which is likely to lead to more unmet care needs among older people, and families facing an unenviable choice of poor quality services.
“It’s also worrying that the number of nursing home beds is shrinking. The Green Paper promised at the Budget in March has yet to materialise but the clock is ticking and as yet the Government seems no closer to producing a long-term solution for social care fit for purpose for our ageing population.”
Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), said: “This report is vital, authoritative evidence about what kind of health and social care support is available across England. CQC’s analysis of the quality of support comes as such services face unprecedented challenges in a climate of austerity. Social care providers, in particular, are experiencing increasing demands for support, rising costs and recruitment and retention worries.”