It that time of year again – Looking back over 2017

Looking back over the year 2017 I have tried to bring to your attention articles and blogs that you might find interesting in the world of social care. I have covered topics ranging from the crises in social care funding to the use of yoga in care homes.

The central purpose of my blogs is to keep you informed of innovative practice that may improve the quality of life of people who use social care services. In addition, I also include new requirements placed on providers by the Care Quality Commission.

Overall the year 2017 in social care is ending as it began. Social care is still in crises because of underfunding, and has reached a tipping point. A number of care homes have decided to call it a day, and some domiciliary care providers have even handed back their contacts to local authorities because they are uneconomically viable.

Looking forward positively, we are promised a Green Paper on social care funding in the summer of 2018. On the one hand, this may be seen as a method of kicking the problem in the long grass, and further delaying tactics. Alternatively, it may at last be recognised as a problem, where the solution can only be found outside the cut and thrust of party politics and consensus on way forward is agreed by all parties.

All the best to you and yours for 2018.

Happy Christmas!

Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute
Managing Director
Bettal Quality Consultancy


Community Mental Healthcare Sees No Improvements, Report Reveals

People’s experiences of community mental healthcare services across England have not improved over the last couple of years – and in fact, in some cases they’ve even got worse.

This is according to new research from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), revealing that while 64 per cent of those asked rated their experiences as seven out of ten or above, this is not an improvement on what was seen in 2014 where 65 per cent said the same.

In addition, it seems that fewer people than ever are happy with the quality of care and support they receive when they do make contact with a healthcare professional. Some 26 per cent admitted that they didn’t feel they got the help they required from crisis care, compared to 21 per cent three years ago.

Deputy chief inspector of hospitals (lead for mental health) at the CQC Dr Paul Lelliott said: “The finding that a higher proportion of people who sought help in a crisis were dissatisfied with the help provided is a particular concern.

“We expect providers to review their results very carefully. We will continue to use these findings to plan our inspections and will be looking carefully at the action plans that providers have developed in response to their local survey results.”

Back in October, the CQC also published its initial review of mental health services for children and young people, finding that although the majority of specialist services do provide good quality care too many young people are struggling to access services. As such, they’re not receiving the care they need as and when they need it.

For help with your CQC compliance system, get in touch with us today.

Good Quality Care Home Places Limited, Survey Reveals

Analysis of Care Quality Commission data has found that in six local authorities around England, good quality places in care homes are so limited that 50 per cent or more local beds are actually in facilities that have been rated by inspectors as either inadequate or in need of improvement.

Consumer watchdog Which? evaluated the data and found that in 45 local authorities, a third or more places are in poor quality homes, with nine of these in the capital – including Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Newham, Haringey, Barnet, Ealing and Harrow.

In Manchester and Wakefield, meanwhile, 58 per cent of beds are in homes rated as either poor or inadequate, followed by Kirklees (57 per cent), Portsmouth (56 per cent) and Tameside (55 per cent).

Which? is now warning that this issue could get worse as demand for places in care homes begins outstripping supply in a growing number of local authority areas. Further research from the organisation shows that nearly nine out of ten council areas across England could see a care home place shortfall come the year 2022.

This comes after the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services criticised the government for failing to provide any further funding for adult social care in the latest Budget. President Margaret Willcox drew attention to the fact that budgets are being slashed but the demand for such services is on the rise.

There are other pressures on the sector, including the rise in the national living wage, demands that all need to be balanced more effectively.

For help with your care quality management system, get in touch with us today.