CQC State of Care 2020/21

October 22, 2021

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), England's independent health and adult social care regulator, has published its State of Care 2020/21. State of Care examines the sector's trends, shines a spotlight on examples of good and outstanding care and focusses on actions contributing towards high-quality care. The report also highlights potential areas of improvement in the sector and makes suggestions for how these can be achieved.

This year, State of Care comprises four themes summarising key issues faced by the sector in the last 12 months. Namely, people's experiences of care, ongoing quality concerns, flexibility to respond to the pandemic and challenges for systems. The report carries additional weight as the first of its kind to cover a whole year of the pandemic. It reflects on the sector's collaborative response to COVID-19 and the impact on people who use care services.

Responding to State of Care 2020/21, Cathie Williams, Association of Directors of Adults Social Services (ADASS) Chief Executive, said, 'CQC’s State of Care report always provides an important oversight of health and social care in England. This year the dreadful impact of the pandemic is necessarily highlighted, not least in the stark effect it had in exposing and exacerbating inequalities, inequalities that resulted in the deaths of so many people.

'Social care is a significant part of the report and a significant part of all of our lives. The report illustrates the incredible commitment of people working in care and the precarious situation facing care provision, unpaid carers and those of us with care and support needs as we go into an incredibly difficult winter.'

Julie Bass, Chief Executive at Turning Point, said, 'The health and social care system has been stretched to the limits over the past 18 months and this report shows the impact on providers who have faced uncertainty and many challenges over this period.

'The report rightly focuses on the funding and staffing pressures which have led to strain on a system that, as of yet, has not received a long-term commitment of funding by Government. It shines a light on health and social care staff who are exhausted, and a workforce depleted.

'The state of care for people with a learning disability, as highlighted in the report, has faced challenges throughout the year and the impact of COVID has been stark. The inequalities that persisted before have only worsened; everyone with a learning disability deserves to have appropriate care at all times.'

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum (NCF), said, 'The report recognises the heavy toll that the pandemic has had on individuals who deliver and receive care. It highlights how COVID-19 has exacerbated the underlying problems of the health and social care system and has further increased the inequalities of access to care for some groups, including those who have a learning disability.

'The report has highlighted, very clearly, the central role that social care plays, both in the lives of the people and their families who need it and in the wider health system. It shows the fundamental place that social care providers have in helping to innovate and respond to changing and increasing need in very challenging circumstances.'

Dr Jane Townson, CEO of the Homecare Association, said, 'We are pleased the CQC recognises the seriousness of the risk of unmet need which now faces adult social care. In homecare, demand is rising and many providers are having to turn down new requests for help. Some providers are unable to staff existing contracts and are handing work back.

'Recruiting and retaining staff is currently more challenging than ever. Inadequate Government funding for social care over many years has led to poor pay, terms and conditions of employment and poor commissioning and procurement practices. Pressures during the pandemic have added to staff turnover, and losses could be further exacerbated if vaccination as a condition of deployment is implemented.'

You can read State of Care 2020/21 online or download a copy by visiting the CQC website.

 


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