Nearly three quarters of care homes originally rated Inadequate have improved their ratings following re-inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As a result, over 12,000 people across the country are now experiencing better and safer care from these services
Analysis published 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2016 reveals out of 372 care homes rated as Inadequate, 73% (273) have improved their overall ratings following the most recent CQC inspection.
From these re-inspections, three quarters (205) have gone from Inadequate to Requires Improvement and a quarter (68) have gone from Inadequate to Good.
99 of the care homes did not demonstrate sufficient progress to have their overall rating amended. 34 care homes that were Inadequate and re-inspected have subsequently become inactive – either following enforcement action taken by CQC or due to the provider choosing to close the service.
The findings come at a time when the regulator has rated over 14,700 adult social care services across the country since its new approach of monitoring, inspecting and rating services was introduced just over 18 months ago.
The analysis shows that regulation can play a key part in encouraging providers to improve, but it is not the only influence. Sustained quality demands a commitment from everyone – staff, providers, commissioners and funders, regulators – all working together and listening to the voice of the public and people using services to make adult social care the best it can be.
Examples of how the re-inspected care homes were able to demonstrate that they had improved the quality of their care include: investing in training so that staff understand the needs of the people they are caring for and the required safeguarding procedures; cleaning and making sure rooms and communal areas present a homely and welcoming environment at all times; developing activities that match the interests of residents and involving them in decisions about their care, and empowering staff to suggest ideas of how to do things differently.
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said: “I welcome the improvements we have seen during our re-inspections of care homes that were originally rated as Inadequate. Real change does not happen overnight – the improved ratings are a testament to the time, effort and determination of providers, their managers and their staff. This is good news for the people who use their services who have every right to expect care we would be happy for a loved one to receive.
“While services that have moved to Requires Improvement are heading in the right direction, I am clear that this is still not good enough and providers cannot afford to be complacent. Evidence of consistent practice and sustainability is what we are looking for, to ensure people always get the Good care they deserve.
“Ultimately, if services cannot or will not improve for the benefit of people they are paid to support, then quite frankly there is no place for them in the care sector. As the regulator, we will be vigilant and will not hesitate to use our powers to put a stop to poor standards of care being provided if necessary.
Sutcliffe said that what she really wants is for great care to become the norm. “That is why CQC inspects and rates services, so we can share information about those services that are getting it right, and identify those services where CQC is tackling poor care so the process of driving forward improvement can begin. I recognise the stresses and strains being felt in the sector, but through working together, good quality care is what everyone must strive for. Most importantly, and as this latest analysis demonstrates, it can be done,” she concluded.