Nursing home care ratings lagging behind due to staff and capacity gaps, CQC warns

Social care organisations are increasingly struggling to provide an adequate standard of care because of staff shortages and lack of beds, the CQC has said.

The board report penned by the CQC’s chief executive David Behan, published ahead of a board meeting on 22 September, notes that nursing homes continue to receive worse ratings on average than other providers, with 36% rated as requires improvement and 4% rated as inadequate.

The report noted: “Very often these ratings are influenced by the difficulty nursing homes have in recruiting and retaining nursing staff. This was highlighted in the recent publication of ‘The State of the adult social care sector and workforce in England’ by Skills for Care, which reported that 9% of the 47,000 nursing jobs in adult social care are vacant and in the last year over a third of nurses left their post.

“This has meant that many services are relying upon agency staff, which undermines their ability to provide continuity of care for residents.”

Behan added that, after five years of growth, nursing home capacity is now decreasing. In 2015-16, the number of nursing homes fell from 4,697 to 4,633 and the number of beds reduced from 224,674 to around 224,000.

In addition, the CQC said that between January and June 2016, 73 care homes cancelled their provision of regulated medical treatment, which would require them to operate a nursing unit in the care home. Just 72 care homes cancelled these activities in the whole of 2015.

For full article see National Health Executive 19 September 2016