Quality of care improving but concerns remain – Nuffield Trust response to CQC’s annual State of Care report

The Nuffield Trust responds to the Care Quality Commission’s annual report on the state of health and social care in England.

Press release

Published: 21/11/2013

Responding to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual report on the State of health care and adult social care in England in 2012/2013, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Andy McKeon said,

“The quality of care provided to people in England has improved in many key areas over the past decade. It generally seems to be holding up despite budget constraints as our joint QualityWatch programme with the Health Foundation has found.

“As today’s CQC report has identified, some aspects of care are causing concern, such as urgent care and the prevention of emergency admissions and need to be tackled immediately.

Providing high quality and timely care outside of hospitals must therefore be a major priorityAndy McKeon, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust

“The CQC’s report rightly identifies the need to ensure appropriate levels of nursing staff and the rising pressure on urgent care, especially for conditions that could be treated in the community and not in hospitals.

“Providing high quality and timely care outside of hospitals must therefore be a major priority. As is creating a culture that is open, supportive and patient-focused – something that is rightly at the heart of the Government’s response to the Francis Inquiry which we saw earlier this week.”

The Nuffield Trust also emphasised the need for better measures of quality and improvements to the ways in which assessments of the quality of care are made.

Andy McKeon added, “Our research has also shown that while our ability to measure and assess quality of care is improving, there are still many aspects of care for which routinely available information on quality is inadequate or non-existent.

“We recommend that policy-makers and professionals seek to improve the scope and robustness of existing data, develop measures of quality across the entire care received by a patient and produce more complete information about patients’ experiences of care.”

Notes to editors

  • QualityWatch is a major research programme from the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation that aims to provide independent scrutiny into how the quality of health and social care is changing over time. It was launched in October 2013. The programme published its first annual assessment of the quality of care in England on 10 October 2013. Access the QualityWatch Annual Statement 2013.
  • As part of the QualityWatch programme, we are undertaking work to look at access to emergency care and in particular the distribution of acute emergency care which is an area where the concerns of the public and the need for economies often conflict. In addition, another forthcoming QualityWatch report will explore the impact that constrained funding may have had on social care services.