Government response: CQC State of Care report – Department of Health response

Updated: Updated with a statement on staffing added

Responding to the overall report, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

This report shows why we are right to be changing the NHS in patients’ interests.

Many more people are living longer with complex care needs. That is why we are transforming the way health and social care is given across the country through a joined up and integrated approach.

Only last week, we announced the biggest changes to the GP contract in a decade, which will bring back the strong personal connection between millions of older people and their family doctor, who know their patients best and will be accountable for their care round the clock.

Responding specifically to concerns about older people having avoidable emergency admissions Norman Lamb said:

We know too many older people don’t get the right support in the community, leaving them at high risk of repeated admissions to A&E. We want to make the whole health system work together around the patient, so that more people get the help they need before emergency treatment is required.

No-one should fall through the cracks between health and social care systems. We are bringing in a more joined up and integrated approach to care – building a health service for the future which has patients, not process, at its core.

And on concerns that there has been no overall improvement in treating people with dignity and respect, Norman Lamb said:

Compassion, dignity and respect must be central to all care services. There are no excuses for services failing to keep people safe and free from neglect.

We are increasing accountability and bringing in stronger regulatory powers to help bring an end to unacceptable behaviour.

The Chief Inspectors of Hospitals and Social Care also have widespread powers to crack down on poor care and hold services to account.

On concerns about staffing, Norman Lamb said:

We are determined to see the NHS become a world leader in patient safety – with a safety ethos and level of transparency that matches the airline industry.

You cannot have safety without safe staffing. We need transparency on staffing levels, backed up by a strong inspection regime. The NHS is planning to hire more than 3,700 extra nurses over coming months.

You can read the CQC’s full report here.

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