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CQC State of Care report flags up care providers’ financial worries

Over a quarter of services said they had considered leaving the adult social care sector in the past 12 months, and three in ten are worried about the financial stability of their service, the CQC has said in its report on the State of Care  in England in 2022/23.

The report also highlights obstacles to the delivery of health and care in England, and cites insufficient capacity in adult social care as one factor in delayed hospital discharge.

Ongoing staffing and financial pressures in residential and community services are also having an impact on staff and providers, affecting the quality of people’s care.

Problems within the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) continue and in 2022/23, the number of applications to deprive a person of their liberty increased to over 300,000, with only 19 per cent of standard applications completed within the statutory 21-day timeframe.

 In terms of social care capacity, the CQC notes an 84 per cent occupancy rate in July 2023, a  two percentage point increase from a year earlier. This is just one percentage point below pre-pandemic occupancy rates. NHS England data shows that funding requests for adult social care support increased by 3 per cent between 2020/21 and 2021/22 to reach nearly 2 million requests.

However, while occupancy rates have increased, the number of registered beds decreased by 0.6 per cent (2,905 beds) during 2022/23. There are also fewer registered care homes.

CQC data also suggests that more than half a million (568,685) funding requests did not result in additional support, an increase of over 4 per cent.      

Commenting on the report, Care England Chief Executive Officer Professor Martin Green  said: The ‘gridlock’ which characterised the health and social care system last year has been aggravated by new pressures for care, including inflation, the cost of living and ongoing challenges with the workforce. This is not sustainable. Without central Government intervention, we may not be looking at gridlock next year, but a total impasse.”

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