The State of Care Report 2019
A few weeks ago the Care Quality Commission released their annual report on the state of care. Once again we have taken some time to read through the report to see what issues have been raised this time round. Last year’s report focussed heavily on the difficulties faced by care providers when it comes to maintaining or improving their ratings.
In our blog post, a year ago, we discussed how we believe that the adoption of care management software can help providers improve and maintain their overall ratings by automating many of the tasks that take time away from caring. The report reserves a whole page within the Adult Social Care section regarding the use of technology. It discusses the barriers that many companies face when considering starting to use technology, some of the issues that we at Fastroi are constantly trying to address. Issues such as lack of funding, low knowledge levels, fear of replacing personal support and data protection and security issues. One of the most interesting comments was that people are reported to be very cautious about adopting new technologies due to bad experiences in the past.
Long Term Improvements
As always, the four gradings are the first things that we look at. The information within the report only gave data for 2018/19, and there only seems to be small improvements over the last 2 years in any of the 4 ratings, but a quick look into the archives, found that the data has been presented in a similar way for the last 5 years.
Statistics from 5 years worth of CQC State of Care Reports detailing the variation in Adult Social Care ratings. *
From this we can see that actually, while the numbers may have plateaued for the last 2 years, there has been a significant improvement in the results over a 5 year period. Inadequate results have fallen from 7% down to 1%. Requires Improvement fell by 18%, Good has increased by 21% and Outstanding has gone up 3%. If we look at the values for Inadequate and Requires Improvement together, then we can see that these values have dropped from 40% down to 16%. These are excellent results that seems to have been missed by the CQC. If the industry can continue this steady improvement, year on year, then the quality of care that the industry provides looks good. Perhaps the thing that is needed now is to try and get the number of Outstanding ratings to improve more.
In addition to this information, this year, the report focuses on how the system is failing both the service users and the care workers and the fact that the statistics continue to improve even slightly is a testament to the staff working in the sector.
The most glaring piece of information within the report was the figure on page 40 is that only 1 in 7 councils in the UK are paying local domiciliary care companies enough to to allow them to comply with the National Minimum Wage. So if it is not financially viable for care companies to take on local authority funded service users, instead opting to take on more privately funded service users. This could be one of the reasons why there are 1.4 million older people who are not getting access to the care and support that they need and of the 7500 unpaid carers interviewed, the majority were providing more than 50 hours of care per week.
If we ever want more than a few percent of care services to to be rated as outstanding, then they must be paid properly for the work they are doing. If Local authority funding doesn’t even meet the minimum wage, then how does the industry expect to be able to recruit outstanding people who can then provide outstanding care.