Posted on 11/10/2018 by
State of Care: ‘The tipping point has already been reached’
This year’s CQC State of Care report has found that most people in England receive a good quality of care, but that, much like the situation last year, quality remains inconsistent and access to care is very much dependent on where you live.
The CQC’s ratings showed that since last year, quality of care has generally been maintained and, in some areas, improved – which the inspectorate puts down to the hard work of care staff, despite the many challenges faced by providers.
But this wasn’t the case everywhere, and access to this good-quality care increasingly depends on where in the country you live and how well an area works together as a system.
The report said that the “fragility” of the adult social care market poses a threat to the effective collaboration between health and social care, with many providers closing and contracts being handed back to local authorities.
It is estimated that 1.4 million people do not have access to the care they night and the number of people with an unmet care need has risen by 20% in the last two years to nearly one in seven older people.
The lack of a long-term funding solution for adult social care, the report says, runs the risk of undermining the NHS funding settlement.
Ian Trenholm, chief executive of the CQC, said: “There needs to be incentives that bring local health and care leaders together, rather than drive them apart. That might mean changes to funding that allow health and social care services to pool resources.”
Peter Wyman, chair of the CQC said: “Our other big concern is the fragility of the adult social care market. Two years ago, we warned that social care was ‘approaching a tipping point’ – as unmet need continues to rise, this tipping point has already been reached for some people who are not getting the good quality care they need.
“It is increasingly clear that without a long-term funding settlement for adult social care, the additional funding for the NHS will be spent treating people with complex conditions for whom care in the community would have been more effective both in terms of their health and wellbeing and use of public money.”