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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Inspectors reiterate call for long-term sustainable funding solution for social care

Written by Ella Pickover

Care inspectors have reiterated calls for a long-term funding solution for social care, the day after the Chancellor announced a funding boost for the sector.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) chief executive Ian Trenholm said a "long-term and sustainable solution" to funding social care is needed.

It comes a day after Philip Hammond announced a £650 million injection into social care in the Budget.

The Chancellor said he would make the additional grant funding available for English local authorities for 2019/20, on top of an additional £240 million previously announced to help the struggling sector cope with winter pressures.

Some commentators criticised the announcement, with a number referring to it as a "sticking plaster".

Mr Hammond also confirmed that a long-awaited green paper on social care would be produced "shortly".

Speaking to the Health and Social Care Select Committee, Mr Trenholm (pictured) also raised concerns over access to health and care services.

Asked about the CQC's latest State of Care report, he said: "There are two key messages - the first one is that people are generally getting good care. If they go to a GP or a hospital or go and have home care they get generally good care.

"What we've seen over a number of years is an upward trajectory in terms of the quality of care they receive at a location.

"I think what we've identified this year, though, is that people's ability to access that care is becoming more and more difficult.

"So what happens is that people are waiting longer to see their GPs, they are finding it much more difficult to get the care in their own home that they need, which means they're more likely to end up in hospital, and they're more likely to end up staying there once they are there and less likely to be able to leave.

"We found the system isn't necessarily working in the way that it could do."

He added: "The second message is that there is a need for a long-term funding solution for social care.

"We have seen in recent days welcome funding going into social care but I think what we identified in the State of Care is the need for a long-term and sustainable solution to how social care is funded in this country."

Meanwhile Prof Ted Baker, CQC's chief inspector of hospitals, told the Committee the health watchdog was "worried" about bullying in the NHS.

He said: "Bullying in the healthcare system is still a worry for us, it occurs in all organisations.

"And it is a worry not just because it affects staff but because it affects the safety and wellbeing of patients.

"And we are very clear that if we identify significant bullying in trusts that reflects very strongly in our reports on their leadership."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) CQC.