The National Care Association has warned of the emergence of a “two-tier” care system following last week’s State of Care report published by the CQC.
Acknowledging the sector faced unprecedented financial constraints at a time of rising demand, the report revealed that 71% of adult care services inspected were rated ‘good’.
National Care Association executive chairman Nadra Ahmed OBE, said: “Whilst this report contains a lot of positives for a majority of care home operators who continue to deliver very high standards of care, provider exit and large-scale contract hand-backs are demonstrating the fragility of this market, prompting the question: At what point do replacement providers only make the returns viable by compromising on the quality of care?
“The unsustainable market position will compromise the safety of some of the most vulnerable people in society who rely on social care services. We have warned of the inevitability of a two tier system emerging at a faster pace if the issues are not addressed and it is refreshing to see that the regulator has underlined our concerns through their report.
“Undoubtedly the current situation creates additional pressure on the NHS, increasing delayed discharge figures, which cannot improve whilst there is no clear pathway to an integrated approach which leaves social care remaining starved of financial resources.”
The CQC expressed its concerns over the pace of home closures with 1,600 going out of business over the past six years (see Social care at ‘tipping point’).