Choosing adult social care is one of life’s most stressful experiences, according to a CQC survey of 1,000 people.
The findings come as CQC raises public awareness on how its inspections can help support people in making care decisions.
Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “Choosing care can be a real worry for people, their families and carers, wondering who or where to turn to – but CQC can help.
“The public needs to know about the quality of care services available and they also need to be reassured that if there are any problems, these are being identified and tackled.
“That is why we publish regular inspection reports with quality ratings on more than 20,000 individual care services registered with CQC. This means that people have access to clear, independent and trusted information to help them make the right decisions for them or their loved one.
“People can be confident that we find most care services in England are providing good, safe care. For those that need to do better, or are not getting any better, we take appropriate action to ensure providers either improve or stop providing care altogether.”
The survey found that 70% of people responsible for choosing care in a care home or at home for themselves or for a loved one find it more stressful than choosing a nursey, school or wedding venue.
More than half (52%) said choosing a care home was among their top three most stressful life decisions.
The findings highlight a clear relationship between care home quality and the level of stress in finding a home.
The regions with some of the lowest CQC ratings – the North East, North West and East Midlands – were those with the highest number of people saying choosing a care home was the most stressful decision in their life.
On the other hand, the regions with some of the best ratings – the East of England and West Midlands – had the lowest number of people saying choosing a home was their most stressful decision.
Almost three quarters of people (72%) said seeing the home for themselves was the important factor in choosing a home.
Just under half (44%) said understanding the quality of care provided through the CQC report influenced their decision their most.
More than three quarters (76%) said knowing their CQC rating made them more comfortable with their decision.
Around a quarter of people (24%) said the home’s ability to meet their needs was the most important factor when choosing a service, with 17% saying its general ‘feel’ was the top factor.
Only 7% said proximity to family and friends was the most important, with 4% highlighting cost.
Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage said: “Decisions around care for loved ones are daunting and often made under a lot of pressure. Making the right choice can feel challenging and sometimes overwhelming.
“The CQC offers a good starting point when considering individual care homes or home care services. They help ensure families have timely information and feel better equipped and more confident to make these important choices.”