STATE OF CARE: Criminal prosecutions hit record levels as CQC flexes enforcement powers

Criminal prosecutions of adult social care service providers hit record levels in 2017/18 as the CQC flexed the full range of its enforcement powers.

In its latest State of Care report, the CQC said it had used its full enforcement powers during the year with 73% of the 141 locations where it enforced closures in 2017/18 coming in adult social care services.

The CQC re-inspected 8,482 adult social care services in the year. Of the 396 services that were originally rated Inadequate, 47% improved to a rating of Requires Improvement and 42% progressed to Good. A remaining 11% of services remained inadequate, an improvement on the 18% that failed to improve last year.

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Of the 3,031 services rated Requires Improvement, 42% failed to improve, up from 36% in the previous year. A higher percentage of services also deteriorated from Requires Improvement to Inadequate – 7%, compared with 5% last year. Of the 5,017 services originally rated Good, 22% deteriorated to Requires Improvement and a further 3% were now rated Inadequate.

The CQC said it was increasing the number of re-inspections of services rated Good or Outstanding. Almost 60% of re-inspections over the past 12 months were of services originally rated Good, compared with 37% in the previous year.

The regulator highlighted a lack of leadership and governance, issues with management continuity and staffing concerns, and poor relationships between providers and managers as reasons for poor care quality.

An effective, stable manager who engages with people using the service was highlighted as a key to providing Good or Outstanding care.

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