The CQC announcement concerning the increase in fees for regulated provision for 2018/19 comes as no surprise to social care providers. However while the sector welcomes robust and improving regulations for the delivery of care, we must ensure these fee increases focus on sector improvements.
It is important that the regulator enables growth and improvements within those services that are struggling. It’s ok to suggest fees are only 0.16% of sector turnover but this is an average across a skewed sector. It is clear to see there are great disparities between large purpose-built provision and small single sub 35 bed facilities within care homes.
With many beds leaving the market surpassing the number of beds entering there is real concern about the lack of provision. Many of the smaller providers, certainly in the south east, name lack of regulatory support following inspections as the main reason for leaving.
While we don’t expect the CQC to run our care homes for us, its certainly not too much to ask that the Regulator should support those trying desperately to survive and deliver good quality care – something I’m afraid to say seems to be consistently lacking from CQC inspections.
Hopefully the fee increase will form part of a wider plan to help the smaller SME providers improve in areas the Regulator sees they are failing.