|The size of the problem will increase|
This year’s State of Care CQC report shows that, thanks to the efforts of staff & leaders, the quality of health & social care has been maintained despite very real challenges and the majority of people are getting good, safe care. But future quality is precarious as the system struggles with complex new types of demand, access and cost.
However, the changing nature of demand (increasing numbers of older people who are physically frail, many with dementia, more people with long term complex conditions) is placing unprecedented pressure on the system.
In acute hospitals, this means more people waiting over 4 hours at A&E; more planned operations cancelled, and people waiting longer for treatment. And in adult social care, the number of beds in nursing homes has decreased across most of England and domiciliary care contracts are being handed back to councils because providers say the funding is insufficient to meet people’s needs; estimates show that one in eight older people are not receiving the help they need.
A very small minority of care was found to be failing people (between 1% & 3% of providers across the services CQC regulates) were rated inadequate. There is also much care that needs to improve: 19% (2016: 26%) of adult social care services; 37% (2016: 39%) of NHS acute core services; 24% (2016: 33%) of NHS mental health core services; and 6% (2016: 10%) of GP practices were rated as requires improvement.