2022 CQC State of Care report for England

CQC recently released their annual State of Care report about the current situation being seen across different care settings in the England. The situation is now 2 years removed from the beginning of the Covid pandemic and with some situations returning to what might have previously been considered normal, the full impact of the virus, and other extenuating factors, can now be evaluated.

The 2022 Situation

The 2022 report details a health care system that is gridlocked and unable to operate effectively. Examples of this gridlock are situations like people in hospital waiting for a social care package so they can be discharged for someone waiting in an emergency department for a hospital bed so they can receive treatment.

It is also said that people who did receive care felt that it was good but this was less likely to be the case for people living in deprived areas, disabled people and people from ethnic minority groups.

It also talks about a growing dissatisfaction with health and care services both by the public and by staff. More staff than ever before are leaving health and social care and providers are finding it increasingly challenging to recruit, resulting in alarmingly high vacancy rates that have a direct impact on people’s care.

One of the biggest reasons the reports points to as being the root cause of the issues is the historical underinvestment and lack of sustained recognition and reward for the social care workforce.

Potential solutions

To solve the problems going forward, the report suggests more long term planning and investment with localities adopting approaches that combine the health and social care sectors. It also highlights the need for a national solution to the problem of vacancies within the social care sector with there being 165,000 at the time the report was written. 

From last year’s report to this one, the percentage of services in social care rated good or outstanding dropped by 1% from 85% to 84% (as of 31st July 2022) with the percentage point shifting from service rated Good to services rated Requires Improvement. 

In Domiciliary Care this change was mirrored with the split in different ratings (Last year’s report’s figures in brackets) Outstanding 5% (5%), Good 82% (83%), Requires Improvement 12% (11%) and Inadequate 1% (1%). Interestingly, the information shows an increase in the number of Domiciliary Care agencies from 7,795 to 8,518 whilst a decrease in Residential Homes 10,520 to 10,362 and Nursing Homes 4,189 to 4,115.


The theme from this report of the last few years continues, one of a broken system that is in desperate need of fixing. The significance of the symbiotic relationship the social and health care services have and how the performance of the NHS is impacted by lack of investment in social care is now becoming more apparent than ever. One of the UK’s recent prime ministers claimed in the speech as they left the job that they had fixed social care however this report has evidence to the contrary.

References –  Page 4, 5,114, 115 (https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-10/20221024_stateofcare2122_print.pdf )
Reference: CareQuality Commission and State of Care Report 2022.

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