The Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes
an annual assessment of health and social care throughout the UK. Their 2017/18 report was issued just before Christmas and found that while some people can easily access good care, others experience disjointed care or only have access to providers with poor services.
The CQC considered five major factors affecting the sustainability of good care:
- Access – it was clear that access to care varies around the country and many people are unable to access the care they need.
- Quality – overall the quality of care in the major health and care sectors has slightly improved. Too many people are still not getting the care they deserve however. Whilst there was clear evidence of improvement in safety in adult social care services and GP practices, more needs to be done in NHS acute hospitals and mental health services.
- Workforce – each sector has its own workforce challenges with some struggling to recruit, retain and develop the staff needed to meet the demands of the people they care for.
- Demand & Capacity – demand continues to rise with people not only living longer but also suffering from complex, chronic or multiple conditions including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and dementia. Services need to plan together more to meet the needs of local populations.
- Funding & Commissioning – good funding and commissioning structures together with decision making should be in place to allow health and social care services to improve. In June 2018 the government announced an extra £20.5 billion funding for the NHS by 2023/4. No similar funding solution has been offered for adult social care.
The overall results are that, while many people receive good and outstanding care, there are still plenty of areas for improvement.