Access to care across England remains a problem, which has been consistent in the wake of COVID-19.
CQC reports that 12,000 patients were waiting in hospital in August 2023 because they could not be returned to a community setting. There are delays in discharging people from hospital because there is a lack of capacity in settings they can be discharged to. However, it is positive to see that social care occupancy rates are nearing pre-pandemic levels.
Increased demand and workforce challenges have a direct impact on the quality of care people receive. Staff have reported that workforce pressures are impacting their mental health which affects their ability to deliver safe and good quality care.
Overall, the quality of care appears to be satisfactory. CQC reports that 79% of adult social care providers were rated good in 2023, which is consistent with the figures from 2022. However, we have noticed that the current risk-based approach to inspections seems to be putting downward pressure on the ratings of services that have been inspected recently.