National Health Executive 19/10/2015 Inspection and regulation
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Two-thirds of NHS hospitals are offering substandard care or failing altogether, while providers across the social care, mental health and primary care sectors raised grave concerns in regards to varying safety and staffing levels.
The CQC’s annual report into state of care in England confirmed the challenging times that providers are facing, with all being asked to do more with less as the health service and local authorities receive insufficient funding to meet growing demand.
Hospitals formed the only sector in the study where most providers were rated as inadequate or failing (as opposed to good or outstanding). Nearly two-thirds (62%) of all hospitals were failing, while all contributed to a concerning variation in standards of care across the board.
The CQC also reported concerns about the leadership and culture in many trusts, but highlighted patient safety as topping the list of grievances – primarily driven by low staffing levels and skill mix.
And while 35% were rated as either good or outstanding, the inspection body said that aggregated ratings at trust level mask the substantial variation amongst individual hospitals, as well as variation of individual core services within a single hospital.
Adult social care
The commission deemed it a key concern that 10% of adult social care providers were rated as inadequate for safety, also caused primarily by low staffing levels and poor medicine management.
In challenging times where local authorities were seeing their budgets slashed, the CQC found that 7% of social care providers were failing, unable to deal with the changing complex needs of an ageing population.
In addition to failing providers, 33% of the sector still required improvement.
But despite this, the social care sector was ahead of hospitals in terms of ratings, with 60% of providers being rated as either good or outstanding compared to just half of that within trusts.