The CQC have published their annual report in which they raise multiple concerns about staff shortages, rising demand and the number of patients with preventable illnesses. The report said so far the quality of NHS and council care has been maintained but warned that standards were likely to drop.

In its report, the CQC highlighted:

  • Staffing shortages with vacancy rates in the NHS rising by 16% over the last two years despite an increase in staff of 4%
  • Bed shortages in hospitals with occupancy levels being consistently above recommended levels since April 2012
  • Falling numbers of nursing homes beds – down by 4,000 in two years at a time when more are needed
  • Rising numbers of people not getting support for their social care needs with the numbers hitting 1.2m, up 18% in a year
  • Number of detentions under the Mental Health Act up by a fifth in two years to more than 63,000 last year

CQC Chief Executive David Behan has said the NHS is struggling to deal with 21st century problems such as obesity, diabetes, dementia and heart disease.

Caroline Abrahams from Age UK has said: –

“Really this tells you everything you need to know about the state of care today – it’s like a rubber band that’s been stretched as far as it will go and can’t stretch any further.