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The Care Quality Commission checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. Visit our website at www.cqc.org.uk.

Pressures on health and care services are increasing the risks of poor care according to our latest report

23 November 2012

We’ve brought together the findings from over 13,000 inspections to bring you a comprehensive report on the shape of health and social care in England.

The report highlights that issues around staffing and ensuring they have the right skills to care for people with complex conditions are beginning to affect the quality of care that services deliver. This is especially having an impact on respecting people who use services and nutrition.

The increase in people requiring care for age-related conditions, or multiple conditions, has meant that there has been a growth in demand for nursing home services. In 2011/12, we saw a 1.4 per cent increase in the number of nursing home services that registered with us.

The report notes many examples of organisations that meet these challenges and deliver an excellent quality of care, but our inspectors have seen examples of services that have not been able to cope with these changes. Many displayed common factors including an attitude to care that is based on getting tasks done and where unacceptable care has become the norm.

Our key findings show:

  • one in 10 NHS hospitals failed to treat people with the respect they deserve and failed to involve them in decisions about their care.
  • 15 per cent of social care services were not providing care that respected people.
  • 23 per cent did not have adequate staffing levels.

David Behan, CQC Chief Executive, says, “Health and care services need to rise to the challenge of responding to the increasingly complex conditions suffered by our ageing population. That means delivering care that is based on the person’s needs, not care that suits the way organisations work. It also means that different services need to work well together in an integrated way that meets the best interests of the people who use these services.

“CQC will use its increasing knowledge and understanding, gained through thousands of inspections of services, to spot growing trends that are directly leading to poor care. Where we find standards are not being met we require improvements and we will use our enforcement powers where necessary to tackle issues such as staff shortages or the failure of service providers to involve people in decisions about their own care.”