CQC publishes review of dementia care services

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

CQC has recently published a review into the care provided to people living with dementia.  The review, titled ‘Cracks in the Pathway – people’s experiences of dementia care as they move between care homes and hospitals’, states that its findings indicate an “unacceptable gap” in the quality of care for those suffering with dementia.

The thematic review looked at the care of people living with dementia as they moved between care homes and acute hospitals by reviewing the dementia services in 129 care homes and 20 hospitals across England.  In particular, the review focused on four key areas: how people’s care needs were assessed; how care was planned and delivered; how providers worked together and how the quality of care was monitored.

Key findings include:

  • In 29% of care homes and 56% of hospitals it found aspects of variable or poor care regarding how a person’s needs were assessed.
  • In 27% of care homes and 56% of hospitals it found aspects of variable or poor care regarding staff’s understanding and knowledge of dementia care.
  • In 27% of care homes and 22% of hospitals it found aspects of variable or poor care regarding the arrangements for how they shared information when people were moved between services.
  • In 34% of care homes and 42% of hospitals it found aspects of variable or poor care regarding how the care met people’s physical and mental health and emotional and social needs.

In response to the report, CQC has committed to appoint a new specialist adviser for dementia care and to provide training to inspectors so they can understand what good dementia care looks like and ensure that the judgements reached are consistent and robust.  CQC has also stated it will include a separate section in hospital inspection reports that covers how well the hospital cares for people living with dementia.

Commenting on the review, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, said “people living with dementia, their families and carers have every right to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.  Our review found some great care, delivered by committed, skilled and dedicated staff.  But this is not the case everywhere or even within the same service meaning too many people are at risk of poor care.  This has got to change.  A wealth of guidance exists to drive the delivery of excellent care for people living with dementia.  We need to make sure that every care home and hospital achieves the high standard of care we see in the best services.  Our new approach to the regulation and inspection of health and social care means that we can celebrate good care, identify where improvements are needed and take action where necessary so that people living with dementia, their families and carers can always be confident about the care they receive.”

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said “The inconsistency of care found here means that many people are rightly worried about being admitted to hospital or having to move into care.  However, we know there are many care homes and hospitals that are getting it right by training their staff in person centred care and making their homes and wards more dementia friendly.  Developing staff and helping them understand the needs of people with dementia is vital if we are to improve the care they receive.”

The full report can be viewed here.

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