CQC publishes new carers research

March 15, 2022

New research published today by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) shows that two thirds of unpaid carers view a lower standard of care during the COVID crises as unacceptable, despite the massive pressures that care services and carers are under.

This comes as CQC calls on feedback from carers to better understand the impact of the pandemic on care and to hear the voices of those on the front line as part of its Because We All Care campaign.

The research also found that there is a lack of awareness on how to give feedback on care, with only 13% of adults in England saying they know about how to share feedback for care they have received themselves, and a similarly low proportion of carers don't have a lot of knowledge on how to share feedback for care received by someone they are caring for (12%).

However, CQC said the good news is that its research has found a willingness to give feedback – among carers and thinking specifically about care received by someone they care for, 42% are more likely to provide positive feedback on health or care services due to the coronavirus crisis while only 26% are more likely to provide negative feedback. Both positive and negative feedback are important to understand not just what is going wrong, but also to understand and share good practice.

This follows research published in January by CQC which shows that nearly three quarters of carers (73%) say that the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have had an impact on the mental health of the person they care for. Over half (56%) of carers say that the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have had an impact on the dignity and independence of the person they care for.

CQC and Healthwatch England launched #BecauseWeAllCare to help improve care services for all by encouraging everyone to feedback on their experiences of health and social care. The public's views are needed now, more than ever, to help health and social care services respond to patients' needs - during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond - and improve the quality of care for years to come.

Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC said, ‘I know the incredible challenges that unpaid carers have faced over the course of the covid crisis and even before the pandemic and I know how valuable their contribution is not just directly to the people they love and care for, but to all of society. That is why I want to hear the feedback they can provide on the care that they witness, because through hearing this we can adapt and bring changes that matter. You can provide feedback to CQC at out Because We All Care page or to our contact centre on 03000 61616.’

Responding to the launch of the carers element of the campaign, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, at Carers UK said, ‘It is vital that carers come forward and provide feedback to the CQC about their experiences of accessing care services - whether those experiences are positive or negative. Doing so helps services to understand what's working and what isn't when it comes to health and social care. This enables services to make necessary changes to ensure the delivery of good care, or to replicate best practice across other services. We know from unpaid carers that good care makes a huge difference to carers' own health and wellbeing, levels of stress and ability to juggle work and care.

Emily Holzhausen added, ‘Providing feedback on a health and care service that you, or the person you care for, have recently experienced is particularly important given the impact COVID-19 continues to have on services that carers rely upon. Carers' information is valuable to CQC as it helps them decide when, where and what to inspect. We will continue to work closely with CQC to ensure that carers' voices are heard loud and clear.’

The research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of the Care Quality Commission. It is a representative national sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ in England. The research was implemented between 29/11/21 and 3/12/21.

Visit the CQC website to read more about the CQC’s ‘Because we all Care’ – Focus on Carers.

In other news, Mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9bn annually, according to a new report published by the Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science.

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