"Today’s report from the CQC presents a worrying picture of the state of health and care services, but its findings are sadly not surprising. While it is encouraging that with the continued commitment of frontline staff the NHS and social care sector have, on the whole, been able to maintain good services over the last year, the report lays bare the scale of the task to improve and enhance care at a time of worrying workforce shortages and unresolved funding issues.
"As the NHS enters another difficult winter it is particularly alarming that nearly half of all emergency departments, according to the CQC, require improvement or are inadequate 1. Yet while the NHS awaits its £20bn boost and a long term plan, which could go some way to addressing these challenges, the cavalry is not coming for social care 2. Spending on social care services for older people in England has fallen by 20% per capita since 2010, so the CQC is absolutely right to point out that the efforts of that investment risk being undermined if they are not complemented by an equally bold and realistic plan and hard cash for social care too.
"Policy makers are currently doing a good job of talking the talk of a more integrated way of providing care for patients but as this report shows, for some people this isn’t the reality of their experiences. This problem won’t be solved by money alone: the challenge will be for both national and local leaders to demonstrate how they can enable these services to work together and provide more joined up care for patients."
Notes to editors
- According to the report 7% of urgent and emergency care services were rated as inadequate and 41% were rated as requires improvement overall.
- HM Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses show that spending per head on personal social services for older people in England fell from £156 in 2010/11 to £140 in 2016/17. In real terms, this is equivalent to going from £178 to £142, a 20% fall.