The Care Quality Commission (CQC) annual State of Care report assesses the overall status of health and social care in England. The head of the CQC has alleged that parts of the NHS and social care may soon be “straining at the seams” and facing a “precarious” future”. Likely crisis points include:
- Staff shortages: NHS vacancy rates have increased by 16% over the past two years despite the 4% increase in staff.
- Hospital bed shortages: with bed occupancy levels above recommended levels since April 2012.
- Fewer nursing homes beds: a decline of 4,000 over two years, despite rising demand.
- Fewer people receiving support for social care needs: higher by 18% over last year.
- Detentions under the Mental Health Act: increased by one fifth over two years (over 63,000 detentions last year).
Triggle, N. (2017). NHS future precarious, says regulator. London: BBC Health News, October 10th 2017.
“ …the NHS is struggling to cope with 21st century problems including increasing numbers of people with illnesses linked to unhealthy lifestyle choices like obesity, diabetes, dementia and heart disease”. Sir David Behan (CQC).
State of Care. [Online]: Care Quality Commission, October 10th 2017.
This relates to:
The state of health care and adult social care in England: 2016/17. Presented to Parliament pursuant to section 83(4)(a) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. HC 377. Newcastle upon Tyne: Care Quality Commission, October 9th 2017.
There is also an executive summary.
Ongoing Questions About Hospital Care Quality for the Elderly
A probing investigation into the variable quality of elderly / dementia care in some NHS hospitals:
Elderly Patients in Hospital – Who Cares? London: BBC Radio Four’s “File on Four” programme, October 10th 2017 [and] October 15th 2017.
CQC to Review NHS Radiology Services
The Care Quality Commission found that there were problems of misdiagnosis of chest X-rays at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, and now plans to review all NHS radiology services in England:
“ …NHS bodies have been instructed to provide details about their backlogs, turnaround times, staffing and arrangements for routine reporting of images”.
Portsmouth hospital missed lung cancer cases. London: BBC Health News / BBC News Hampshire & Isle of Wight, December 1st 2017.