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Increasing risk that CQC will have to notify councils of failing care providers

There is an increasing risk that the CQC will have to notify local authorities that care providers are failing to meet their legal responsibilities, unless the social care crisis is addressed, the regulator’s chief executive has said.

David Behan told the Health Select Committee yesterday that some care homes are approaching level 6, the most severe CQC intervention, where the regulator warns the local council that the provider is breaching its legal responsibilities.

He repeated the CQC’s warning in its annual State of Care report that social care is approaching a “tipping point” due to a growing risk of providers collapsing or failing to improve their ratings. He added that increasing numbers of older people are not having their care needs met at all.

“We’re not saying it will fall to pieces next year, but we are saying there a number of things happening here which, in combination, Parliament needs to debate,” Behan said.

Last month’s Autumn Statement was criticised for failing to include any new funding for the NHS and social care despite warnings of acute financial shortfalls. The social care deficit is estimated to reach £2.6bn by 2020-21.

The United Kingdom Home Care Association estimates that there is a £500m shortfall in councils’ funding to homecare because of pressure on council budgets, while the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation have warned that local authorities could face legal action for failing to fulfil their responsibilities.

Behan said that Care UK was among the large providers warning that they couldn’t deliver services at the current costs. He added that 52 large providers were already in the CQC improvement programme, although he couldn’t name them because of commercial sensitivity.

However, he said the regulator was limited in how it could respond, especially in relation to the small care homes which are now at risk of handing back contracts. Furthermore, he called it “significant” that there was “no improvement capacity” for social care, because there was no NHS Improvement-style body with the power to intervene in failing providers.

Independent Age has warned that families are “flying blind” because of the lack of clear information about the quality of care providers. The Competition and Markets Authority also announced recently that it is carrying out a study of the care home sector.

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Michelle Gederon   08/12/2016 at 11:06

This is a good article but can I kindly ask you to replace the words 'care homes' in the fifth paragraph with homecare please.

Belinda Zoe Schwehr   09/12/2016 at 21:14

Your please click here button for having a story to tell goes to page not found!!

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