Quality of Care suffering says regulator

  • Posted

Posted 27/11/2012

The quality of services provided to people across the health and care sectors in England is beginning to suffer according to the industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission. The warning comes after examination of data from more than 13,000 inspectors. The regulator said staff pressures and the rise in complex cases seen in the ageing population meant everyone from hospitals to care homes was struggling.

Overall one in four services failed at least one of the 16 key standards. Among the most commonly failing areas were the standard relating to dignity and respect, nutrition, care and welfare and the workforce which covers both numbers and skills of staff.

The regulator said the pressures on the system meant staff were increasingly unable to focus on the individual needs of people for whom they were caring. Instead, they were essentially running through “to do lists” in the way they approached their responsibilities. The CQC said this had created a culture in places that were struggling where the “unacceptable becomes the norm”.

It said it was taking enforcement action in places where the most serious failings had been identified. CQC Chief Executive, David Behan said “despite pressures there was no excuse for poor performance. Health and care services need to rise to the challenge”.

The 13,000 inspections cover a third of the health and care sectors. They incorporate NHS services, such as hospitals and mental health services, care homes, nursing homes, home help, dentistry and the independent sector, which include private hospitals and charity run services. Broken down by sectors, the report showed 22% of the NHS had failed on at least one standard, 19% of the independent healthcare, 28% of social care and 12% of dentistry. It is the first year the CQC has had such comprehensive data and so a comparison with 2010-11 is not possible.

Julie Crossley, a medical injury specialist at Ashtons Legal comments: “Failing standards and poor care are always a worry and are among the main concerns of family members when they witness their loved ones suffering at the hands of those supposed to be caring for them.” Read more about our Medical Injury services.


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