Today marks the launch of the State of Care report, our annual overview of health and adult social care in England.
For the first time, we have been able to draw on the findings of our new ratings system across all of the sectors we regulate.
Our analysis shows that, despite increasingly challenging circumstances, many services have managed to either improve or maintain quality.
Many services providing good or outstanding care
More than 80 per cent of GP practices and six out of ten of adult social care services inspected by us so far have been rated as good or outstanding. Of the hospitals rated, 38 per cent were also found to be good or outstanding.
However, alongside these encouraging findings, there remains significant variation in quality and an unacceptable level of poor care. Up to 31 May 2015, 7 per cent of acute, primary medical and adult social care services had been rated as inadequate.
Safety a concern
Safety is our biggest concern across all of the services we inspect. Over one in 10 hospitals and a similar proportion of adult social care services have been rated as inadequate for safety, alongside 6 per cent of GP practices and out-of-hours services.
Leadership and collaboration emerged as more crucial than ever, as did having the right numbers and mix of staff to meet people's needs. The coordination of care at a national and local level was also seen to play a key role in the delivery of high-quality care.
The report also demonstrates how we have been able to encourage improvement. Initial results from our re-inspections so far suggest that half of these services have been able to improve their ratings within six months.
Where improvements are not made, we are increasingly likely to take enforcement action – in 7 per cent of inspections in 2014/15, compared with 4 per cent in the previous period.
Commenting on the report, Chief Executive of CQC David Behan said: "The variation in care that we have observed is not just about the money. Good leaders are what make the difference – leaders who engage staff and people who use services and create a culture of continuous quality improvement... What is very clear is that isolated working and incremental changes are not going to be enough to meet the challenges ahead."