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Adult social care: RCN says new report is a ‘wake-up call’ to invest in nursing

Care Quality Commission report's findings highlight need for more staff now, says college
Mental health and social care

Care Quality Commission report's findings highlight need for more staff now, says college

The RCN has responded to a new report on social care by calling for long-term investment in nursing to support the sector.

The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2019/20 , published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), highlights that 13% of inpatient services for people with a learning disability and/or people with autism were rated inadequate as of March 2020 which is triple the proportion found in the previous year.

Care Quality Commission report's findings highlight need for more staff now, says college

CQC report found rise in ‘inadequate’ mental health services. Picture: iStock

The RCN has responded to a new report on social care by calling for long-term investment in nursing to support the sector.

The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2019/20, published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), highlights that 13% of inpatient services for people with a learning disability and/or people with autism were rated ‘inadequate’ as of March 2020 – which is triple the proportion found in the previous year.

Report reveals wide range of care quality

The CQC also found that 3% of care homes (512 homes, accounting for just under 23,000 beds) had never been rated higher than ‘requires improvement’.

However, the report does highlight that 80% of adult social care services were rated ‘good’, and 5% were ‘outstanding’.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It aims to ensure that services are safe and effective, and encourages improvement where required.

‘Those most in need of care are facing the biggest problems accessing the care they need’

Dame Donna Kinnair

Commenting on the CQC report, RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said the report’s findings should act as a ‘wake-up call’ to the government to provide long-term investment in the nursing workforce.

Professor Kinnair added: ‘Services such as mental health and social care were already under huge pressure due to a lack of specialist staff. COVID-19 has now left them struggling to catch up.

‘The failures to tackle the nursing workforce crisis are now very clear, with those most in need of care facing the biggest problems accessing the care they need.’

The CQC’s chief executive Ian Trenholm said: ‘COVID has pushed social care even closer to the edge, and we need to make sure that action takes place now, and it is more than just funding – this is funding, workforce and operations support.’

Government working to ‘put the social care sector on a sustainable footing’

Responding to the CQC report, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said it is investing in mental health and expanding primary and community services.

They highlighted that the NHS is getting a record cash funding boost through the NHS Long Term Plan.

The plan has been drawn up by front-line staff, patient groups and care experts, and aims to address concerns about funding and staffing.

The spokesperson added: ‘We are looking at a range of proposals to put the social care sector on a sustainable footing for the future.’


Read the CQC report

The State of Health Care and Adult Social Care in England 2019/20


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