The money for social care “won’t be getting better any time soon,” said Andrea Sutcliffe, outgoing Care Quality Commission chief inspector for adult social care in one of her final presentations to the sector.
Speaking at the National Care Association’s annual social care reception, she said future challenges, including Brexit, “will continue have a profound effect on adult social care”.
She acknowledged that care home managers work in a very challenging economic environment, with difficulties around recruitment and retention of good quality staff, in particular nurses who can meet increasingly complex demand.
For that reason, she said that her new post as chief executive and registrar of nurses at the Nursing and Midwifery Council would keep adult social care “very close to her heart”. Ms Sutcliffe leaves the CQC at the end of December.
She told the National Care Association reception that perceptions of adult social care as a low-skilled service needed to change. “It requires incredible emotional intelligence and gallons of patience and we need to reward those people and give them the training and development that allows them to flourish,” she said.
Andrea Sutcliffe joined the CQC in October 2013, creating the new role of chief inspector of adult social care. Since then, she said the industry had worked collaboratively with the regulator to create a shared view of quality and had doubled the percentage of homes rated at least good to 83 per cent. “People are now talking about adult social care, talking about the role of adult social care in relieving winter pressures and the importance of sustainable adult social care. With you, together we have made tremendous progress. we do know what good looks like and how to do it.”