Inspectors sent to 12 struggling local areas to improve health and social care systems

The CQC has been instructed to undertake a programme of local system reviews of health and social care in 12 failing local authority areas by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health.

Inspectors will target areas that are failing to provide enough home care spaces and community care services in an effort to ease pressure on hospitals and free up bed space.

The move was announced last night in Parliament by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who said: “No one should stay in hospital longer than necessary.

“It undermines people’s dignity and reduces their quality of life while putting pressure on our hospitals and wasting taxpayers’ money.

“These new measures will ensure local authorities and local NHS partners play their part in tackling this issue to improve community transfers and ensure every patient has a health and care system that works for them.”

Specifically, the CQC will look at how people move between health and social care, including delayed transfers of care and focusing in particular on patients aged over 65.

The review will not include mental health services or specialist commissioning; however, it will investigate the experience of people living with dementia as they pass through the system.

“People should be able to expect good, safe care when they need it, regardless of how this care is delivered,” said David Behan, chief executive of the CQC.

“And yet we know there is wide variation in how health and social care systems work together, with some local systems working together effectively to ensure people get the right care, while others struggle to do so – these reviews will seek to examine why these levels of variation exist.

“Our intention is that the review findings will highlight what is working well and where there are opportunities for improving how the system works, enabling the sharing of good practice and identifying where additional support is needed to secure better outcomes for people using services.”

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, also commented: “Our recent report, Winter Warning, showed the additional money announced in the budget for social care was not flowing to support the NHS as consistently as intended.

“It is therefore encouraging that senior ministers have focused on this issue, which requires genuine local partnership and support to make the best use of the money.”

Hopson also stated that both the recent ADASS budget survey and his organisation’s own report had showed that only one in three local authorities were currently planning to prioritise reducing social care-related NHS delayed transfers of care.

“We are pleased there are now specific targets for each local authority, which will be closely monitored,” he continued. “And we welcome the rapid CQC review of 12 areas to see how well they are working at the health and social care boundary. However we await detail of how this will work.”

But the NHS Providers CEO warned that this was the only the first step towards fixing the UK’s ailing health and social care services.

“Senior health service leaders have about a month in which to make a decision on whether there is sufficient capacity in the NHS to deal with next winter’s risks, and if not, to do something about it,” he concluded. “We have called for a £350m investment now to cope with pressures in the coming winter.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

23/06/2020Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

Evolution is crucial in any business and Public Sector Executive is no different. Long before Covid-19 even became a thought in the back of our minds, the team at PS... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


August 2020

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

featured articles

View all News