Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report for 2016/17, Nuffield Trust Director of Research Professor John Appleby said:
“Today’s report shows that although most NHS patients still receive good and safe care, the system as a whole is struggling to cope. The CQC’s warnings must be seen in the context of the unsustainable financial squeeze. The NHS ended last year with an underlying deficit of £3.7bn and faces an even greater challenge this year.
“If the response to this problem is to try to exert more grip and push harder from Whitehall, it will fail: at this stage staff and leaders can’t work much harder. We need supportive leadership which puts the emphasis on working together to tackle difficult changes.
“Perhaps the most worrying parts of this report touch on social care for older people. One in eight are not receiving the care that they need in the community, and costs have already been pushed so low that companies are giving up contracts. We agree that the future funding and organisation of social care is becoming one of the greatest unresolved policy issues of our time, and action on this is now an important priority.”