CQC chief inspector of adult care services Andrea Sutcliffe has highlighted the current crisis in nursing recruitment.
The chief regulator was speaking to the BBC following the CQC’s publication last week of figures revealing a fall in nursing numbers (see CQC reports first drop in nursing provision in five years).
Ms Sutcliffe (pictured) said: “One of the fundamental reasons is that we are seeing that homes are having difficulty recruiting and retaining nurses.
“There are about 47,000 nurses working in adult social care. There is about a 9% vacancy rate, which will mean they are depending on agency nurses. And over the last year a third of nurses left their job.
“So, we’re having difficulty recruiting them and then we are having difficulty retaining them, and that will have a direct impact on the quality of care that people are receiving.”
Care home managing director John Strowbridge recently told Care Home Professional that Avery Healthcare has had to cut its nursing provision by 20% despite the NHS contribution being raise this year from £112 to £156 (see EXCLUSIVE: Avery calls for great nursing support).
Other leading care home operators such as not for profit company Anchor have pulled out of nursing altogether while leading provider Four Seasons has a nursing shortage.