Sector leaders react to annual CQC State of Care report

Social care leaders have reacted to the CQC’s latest annual assessment of health care and social care in England, State of Care 2022/23.

MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan remarked: “The findings revealed in the CQC’s annual report will come as no surprise to people working in social care. The report highlights a perfect storm of pressures, including tighter local authority budgets and increased running costs.

“At MHA, we have long been vocal about the recruitment and retention issues that the sector is facing. With an ageing workforce, and an ageing population, there’s a real danger that care providers will need to deliver more care with less staff in the future.

“Unless we can incentivise people to work in the sector, and reward them fairly for the work they do, the workforce crisis will only deepen.

“With a general election looming, we hope the CQC’s report serves as a wake-up call across the political spectrum that social care must be an absolute priority in 2024.”

NCF CEO Vic Rayner commented: “The CQC report lays bare the reality that the notion of a ‘care market’ was flawed from the outset. The outcome of systematically underfunding local authorities, who in turn have not paid the actual cost of delivering care, has brought us to a place where profound health inequalities for individuals and communities are now compounded by profound care inequalities. The CQC’s unhelpful adoption of market terminology around services means that we are faced with a government regulator explaining that inequities are fuelled by providers not delivering publicly funded care because it is ‘less profitable’. The reality is that providers are not able to provide care at the rates that local authorities can pay, nor can they provide quality services at these unsustainable rates. They cannot staff services where they do not have enough funding to pay staff, nor can they innovate and invest in buildings and technology to ensure that we have care services we are proud of and are fit for the future, as well as for the present. They are also unable to deliver the services those who draw on their services want.

“The language of profit, and the extraction of profit have no place in the delivery of public services. Yet, the persistence of a market ideology enables politicians at a national and local level to stand back and watch. The report makes absolutely clear that the market cannot regulate itself, and that Local Authorities have a sustained inability to fund services for the actual care that they deliver. This has embedded a level of disadvantage and exclusion that is unfair. Furthermore, the CQC report highlights the systemic failure of market forces and suggests that ongoing efforts to address the ways in which systems work will never succeed until we move away from allowing the notion of profit making in care to hold sway as an acceptable response to meeting a statutory, and moral, right for the most vulnerable members of our communities to receive care.”

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