Difficulties in accessing the right care and growing workforce challenges are creating a ‘perfect storm’ in adult social care, the CQC has said.
In its annual State of Care report the CQC said that while quality ratings across adult social care have been maintained overall, people’s experience of care is determined by whether they can access good care when they need it.
It warned that when people can’t access the services they need, the risk is that they are pushed into inappropriate care settings – ending up in emergency departments, or in crisis because they can’t access community based care.
CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm (pictured) said: “We know that despite good ratings in a number of services, people’s experience of care to a large extent depends on the way in which they can access the right care.
“What we are finding, this year in particular, is that people are being pushed into inappropriate care settings – care settings which don’t ideally meet their immediate needs.
“We know that the combination of increased demand and challenges around workforce are creating something of a perfect storm, and if that perfect storm is allowed to continue we will have a number of problems.”
An Age UK report found that people assessed as being eligible for domiciliary care services in the community were unable to get care because of issues with the local social care market; for example, no services available, long waiting times, offering only a reduced service, or by providers exiting the market.
The State of Care report found that workforce issues remain a challenge for the adult social care sector.
Staff turnover in all roles has risen over the last six years, with care worker turnover rates the highest at 40%, up from 32% in 2014/15.
The CQC boss said these were being exacerbated by government’s failure to find a long-term funding solution.
“Providers tell us again and again that staffing is under pressure, with high turnovers and high vacancy rates, and a lack of people coming into the profession with the right skills. And the continuing uncertainty about long-term funding solutions in social care is simply making those problems worse,” Trenholm said.
“A long-term funding solution for adult social care remains vitally important to deliver stability in the sector.”
Yesterday, HCI reported that the home care market is not growing fast enough to meet the demand for services, according to the CQC.