The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published State of Care. The report draws on the experiences of care people have shared with us at Healthwatch Kent and other Healthwatches across England. The reports shows that health and social care services face some highly concerning challenges, including:
- A workforce drained in terms of resilience and capacity, especially in social care, where the staff vacancy rate has risen;
- A rising number of people seeking emergency care, leading to unacceptable waiting times; and
- Tackling the health inequalities that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated.
The report welcomes the additional funding that the Government has allocated to help the NHS and social care address their challenges. However, CQC has called for the extra investment to be used to:
- Develop new ways of working and don’t just prop up existing approaches and plug demand in acute care; and
- Improve the training, career development and terms and conditions of social care workers to help attract and retain more staff.
CQC has also recommended that the short-term funding - currently in place to help discharge patients who are no longer in need of hospital care but may still require care services - be extended.
Responding, Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: