Leaders in the social care sector have expressed disappointment over the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) latest State of Care report.
The chief executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green (pictured), and UKHCA policy director Colin Angel, have both said that while they welcome how the CQC has highlighted the fragile state of the sector, it is predominantly a “narrative of events” which spanned the Covid-19 pandemic, as opposed to a critical reflection of what must change.
“This is underscored by the lack of internal reflection from CQC as to its handling of the crisis,” said Green.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the interdependence of the health and social care system and the organisations that operate across the system. The regulator must now reflect upon its own role and look to facilitate the delivery of safe, quality and sustainable Covid-19 proof care in the future.”
Angel agreed, adding: “While recognising that producing this year’s State of Care report must have been challenging to write, it would have been preferable to have had more analysis and recommendations, rather than the lengthy narrative approach adopted in this year’s report.
“We continue to urge Government to amend CQC’s role. This will ensure that it can report and comment far more extensively on the commissioning of services, to present a properly rounded picture of how care systems support people in their local communities.”
The CQC said in its report that coronavirus has exacerbated existing problems and magnified inequalities in adult social care.
It calls for immediate reform, long-term funding and a new deal for the care workforce, which develops clear career progression, secures the right skills for the sector, better recognises and values staff, invests in their training and supports appropriate professionalisation.
Commenting on the report, Dr Rhidian Hughes, CEO of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), said: “While it is reassuring that CQC’s State of care report had identified and acknowledged these issues, we can only hope that the government finally takes notice and addresses these issues as a matter of urgency.
“For many years, the annual State of care report has highlighted the precarious financial state of the social care sector and the growing demands placed on it.”
He added: “Today’s report provides yet another reminder of the impact this sustained lack of funding is having on the sector, only now, it has been truly magnified and worsened by the pandemic.