In October 2020, the Care Quality Commission released its annual State of Care report. The organisation concluded that the care that people received in 2019/20 was mostly of good quality, however, although quality was largely maintained compared with the previous year, there was no improvement overall.
Before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, the CQC was concerned about a number of issues:
- the poorer quality of care that is harder to plan for
- the need for care to be delivered in a more joined-up way
- the continued fragility of adult social care provision
- the struggles of the poorest services to make any improvement
- significant gaps in access to good quality care, especially mental health care
- persistent inequalities in some aspects of care
Now further on in the pandemic, the CQC noted that:
- A key challenge for providers has been maintaining a safe environment – managing the need to socially distance or isolate people due to COVID-19. Good infection prevention and control practice has been vital.
- The crisis has accelerated innovation that had previously proved difficult to mainstream, such as GP practices moving rapidly to remote consultations. The changes have proved beneficial to, and popular with, many. But many of these innovations exclude people who do not have good digital access, and some have been rushed into place during the pandemic.
- The pandemic has had a major impact on elective care and urgent services such as cancer and cardiac services, and there is huge pent-up demand for care and treatment that has been postponed.
- The pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on some groups of people, and is shining a light on existing inequality in the health and social care system. It is vital that we understand how we can use this knowledge to move towards fairer and more equitable care, where nobody’s needs go unmet.
Download the full CQC report here