Last week, the CQC released a State of Care report which looked at the quality of care in hospitals. In particular, it focused on the pressures on accident and emergency services due to an increase of admissions for ‘avoidable’ conditions. The report also looked at other health and social care services which considered findings of more than 35,000 inspections.
Avoidable conditions, are illnesses and sicknesses like:
· Bone fractures
· Respiratory infections
These conditions are called ‘avoidable’ because they are caused by poor care or neglect or they can be treated in the community, for example in people’s own homes or in community settings.
According to CQC, more than half a million people aged 65 and over were admitted as an emergency to hospital with potentially avoidable conditions in the last year. The number of avoidable emergency admissions varies in different parts of the UK.
Hospital admissions for people living in care homes with avoidable conditions were 30 per cent higher for those with dementia. Once in hospital, people with dementia also have poorer outcomes than those without dementia.
CQC Chief Executive David Behan said, ‘those responsible for care in local areas need to work together quickly to address the number of avoidable emergency admissions to hospital. GPs, care homes, home care agencies, community health services and hospitals, with local commissioners, must plan effectively make sure our older and more vulnerable people are cared for in the way they deserve. Where care can be provided for people outside of hospitals, it is better for them and eases pressures on hospital services’.
Quality of health and social care services
The report claims that there has been no overall improvement in the NHS around treating people with dignity and respect.
Safety concerns were revealed in one in five inspections of nursing homes. This included failure to give out medicines safely or not carrying out risk assessments when starting to care for someone and ongoing staffing pressures.
CQC said there is a correlation between high staff turnover in residential care homes and numbers of death notifications, which may suggest that high staff turnover results in gaps in care. About 10% of inspections of residential homes uncovered problems with the following:
· The care and support received by residents
The State of Care report stated that more than 10% of home care agencies did not meet standards in staffing or monitoring quality. Common quality issues included late or missed calls, which had a profound impact on people using services, leaving people feeling vulnerable and devalued.