State of Care 2022-23, blog by Clive Parry

Care Rights UK director, Helen Wildbore, reflects on attending the launch of the Care Quality Commission’s annual ‘State of Care’ report in her blog The ‘State of Care’? We’ve never seen it so bad.

I also attended the State of Care launch event last week and like Helen, I was disappointed but not surprised when the regulator confirmed that things are even worse than they were last year.

Feedback from ARC members is that the CQC doesn’t always get the balance right between its role in relation to inspection, monitoring and compliance and other ways in which the regulator can improve quality (inspection and monitoring is crucial, of course, but if we could inspect quality in, arguably, we would still have an automotive industry in the UK).

These include the collaborative work that could be done in partnership with the many providers that are delivering great care and who could offer help to those organisations that need to improve.

Something else that was missing for me from the report was more from the regulator about its role in speaking up about and addressing the underlying causes of the many ways in which people are being failed by the social care system.

I understand that the regulator views its role in terms of offering commentary and that it is for others to make the political decisions necessary to bring about change but surely when things have been this bad for so long and there is no sign of them improving, the time has come for the regulator to speak more clearly about the fundamental problems that operate at the systemic level and which are taking us in the wrong direction?

These include slavish adherence to a flawed market model which goes hand-in-hand with the decision not to properly fund social care, the lack of strategic thinking on the part of the Government and the absence of a consistent approach to the long-term planning that is so obviously needed.

It feels as though the regulator also holds the view that the rights of people who draw on care support and their families are but one lens through which social care can be viewed but we would argue that it’s the only way to think about how people are being failed and that’s why we would endorse the views expressed in this blog by Care Rights UK.

Clive Parry
England Director
Association for Real Change