The current landscape paints a picture of a struggling Care Sector and a negative public image. Care Providers are under increasing pressure to retain staff, maintain quality and stay in business, a situation exacerbated by:
• Continual changes in legislation and regulation
• Reduction in frequency of CQC regulatory inspections
• Under-funding of the sector
• Unpredictable commissioning
• The introduction of the National Living Wage
Why is our Care System in Crisis?
The Care System in the UK is supported by tens of thousands of professional, dedicated and caring individuals, but despite their efforts, care for those most in need has a reputation of neglect. Regularly the media covers high profile failures and abuse that serve only to tarnish the reputation of the care sector as a whole. We should not have allowed these failures to go undetected for so long and we should have a care system that encourages excellence, rather than rewarding lowest market price.
Currently approximately 70% of people living in independent residential care homes are funded by Local Authorities and the criteria used to purchase these places is based on care homes who offer the cheapest rates, irrespective of the ‘quality of care and services’ they provide. This policy deprives vulnerable citizens’ of their statutory right to choice and encourages poor quality providers not to improve.
The Care Crisis in the News
£1.5 billion shortfall leaves care home sector in crisis
Britain’s care home industry is on the verge of a catastrophic funding crisis with dire warnings that the Government needs to urgently pump in an extra £1.5billion to stabilise the sector. You can read the full article here.
Is the Care Act dream over as a result of the funding crisis affecting social care?
“I think that is a question we now need to ask in the light of some of the responses by social workers to the online survey posted by Community Care magazine, with the support of the Care and Support Alliance”. Read the full article from the Huffington Post here
Shame of care homes that just don’t care: Watchdog probes four serious failures EVERY DAY as charities warn of ‘frightening crisis’
“The ‘frightening’ extent of the crisis in the elderly care system was laid bare last night. A shocking report reveals that inspectors are called in to deal with four complaints every day”. Read the full article from the Daily Mail here
Andrea Sutcliffe,Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC, commenting on the state of Adult Social Care Services 2014-2017:
“Over three-quarters (77%) of adult social care services are good – this should be and is celebrated. These are services with leaders who inspire a positive culture focused on providing person-centred care – treating people as people and not just as recipients of care. These leaders motivate, develop and value their staff who work tirelessly and skilfully to support people to live their lives to the full, with dignity and respect. The lives of people using adult social care can be transformed or their final days remembered for the care and compassion they and their families and carers experienced.
However, quality across England is undeniably variable. We have completed our initial comprehensive inspection programme with only 2% of services being rated as outstanding. While we make no apology for setting the bar high, this is considerably lower than we originally expected. It is clear that it is more difficult to achieve this highest standard of quality.
And there is too much poor care: 2% of services are currently rated as inadequate, and 19% of services are rated as requires improvement and are struggling to improve. Through our inspections, we have seen examples of unacceptable care, occasionally resulting in actual harm to people using services.
This is awful for people receiving this care, as well as their families and carers. But it also undermines the public’s confidence in the sector as a whole – a sector that we are becoming increasingly reliant on as our population ages and people’s needs at all ages become more complex.”
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