Social care is at tipping point

The Care Quality Commission has released a report today on the state of adult social care services in England, reporting that “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”.

The Care Quality Commission report they have seen examples of unacceptable care, “occasionally resulting in actual harm to people using services”. The report makes clear that too many services are not improving or “seem incapable of improving”.

38% of care locations retain their rating of “requires improvement” following re-inspection, despite knowing from CQC inspections what needs to change and 5% of these services are reported to have deteriorated.

The Care Quality Commission gave a stark warning in October 2016 about the future of adult social care in England.

Further, on Monday the Secretary of State for Health published a written ministerial statement suggesting local authority access to the £2 billion funding for social care announced in the Spring Budget will now be dependent on performance against targets for delayed transfer of care, meaning that some councils could lose funding which they have already planned to spend.

In response, the Local Government Association announced it had been left with “no choice but to withdraw … [its] … support for the guidance on Better Care Funding….With funding for social care widely seen to be in crisis, the withdrawal of local councils from joint working on health and social care is a serious threat.

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s new Member of Parliament, said:

“The loss of planned funding to local councils – including here in Portsmouth – could lead to quality and safety issues in care worsening. I am hugely concerned.

Social care is fast approaching tipping point. If it tips, it will mean even more poor care, less choice and more unmet need for people”.