Relatives & Residents Association

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Poor care damages lives

15 October 2019: Today’s publication by the Care Quality Commission on the State of Care shows that the UK care sector remains at tipping point. Issues around workforce, including a lack of qualified staff, and funding “continue to contribute to the fragility of the sector”.

…the power of good care to change people’s lives for the better. We also hear from callers to our helpline about the power of poor care to damage lives

The same report the year before had warned that the lack of a long-term, sustainable solution for adult social care was having a “a damaging impact on the quality and quantity of available care”. It is disappointing to be in the same position a year down the line and see the lack of progress on resolving this urgent issue.  The CQC is calling for urgent action to be taken by the Government and Parliament to find a solution. Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech was a step in the right direction, putting reform of social care services for older people back on the government’s agenda.

Launching the report this morning, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, stressed the value of social care and its purpose to improve lives. We know from our work supporting older people in care and their relatives, the power of good care to change people’s lives for the better. We also hear from callers to our helpline about the power of poor care to damage lives. Over the last year almost 60% of calls to our helpline were about problems with care, including human rights concerns. These range from reports of abuse and concerns about the quality of care provided, to relatives being restricted or banned from visiting loved ones as a result of raising issues.   

This work gives us a unique insight into the state of care from the ground. We echo the CQC’s call for urgent reform to the social care system. Reform should ensure care services are adequately funded, but also focus on the quality of care provided. This should be taken forward at the earliest opportunity – we shouldn’t wait for the system to crack before taking action to ensure older people are treated with dignity in care.


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