Tell it like it is – is that asking too much?

Posted on October 13th, by geoff in CT blog. 5 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

Why does the Care Quality Commission, in making public pronouncements, find it so difficult to give the public an accurate picture of the social care landscape? Last week, in announcing its new inspection regime, CQC led by saying “there is too much awful care” and “care is not good enough”.

The first of these statements is meaningless; if just one elderly or vulnerable person in the entire country is receiving poor care, it would be accurate to say there is “too much” poor care. The second statement implies that each and every provider is failing to provide good care, which is utter rubbish.

The two statements ignore the fundamental and demonstrable truth that most services are providing excellent care. If only CQC, instead of relying on highly-paid spin doctors, had the wit and vision to start by celebrating the sector’s achievements, and then use that as a platform from which to explain how care can be made even better, and how the small minority of poor services will be identified and either brought up to standard or eliminated!

But no – in its perceived need to justify its existence, CQC chooses to patronise the public with glib nonsense, to insult the intelligence of care providers and discount and devalue the excellent services they work so hard to provide.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

5 responses to “Tell it like it is – is that asking too much?”

  1. Gillian Dalley says:

    The BBC then compounds this by referring to dementia care in “state-run homes and hospitals” in its news bulletins without separating the two sectors (the first of which is largely in independent hands – local authority homes barely exist anymore – inspected by the social care arm of CQC and the second is the NHS inspected by its health arm). Two very different animals.

  2. Roger Wharton says:

    Let’s look at this another way. During 2013/2014 CQC carried out 39567 inspections and issued 1523 enforcement actions. That amounts to 3.8% and means that an overwhelming majority of 96.2% compliance was achieved. On this basis alone the statements referred to above are misguided and should be side-lined and ignored. What we need is a much stronger celebration of success and a more considered dialogue on where improvement is needed. The new rating system will help in this respect.

  3. David Waters says:

    What a great blog, Geoff, well done. Completely agree with all you say. Wouldn’t it be nice if CQC pointed out what good care loks like and where it can be found, that may reassure our ever aging society too. May be a useful training exercise for both care providers and CQC.

  4. There are two (+1) issues on which the BBC can help educate the public:
    1. How social care actually works and the tensions between a free at delivery NHS and a pay for what you get social care system as stated above that is largely run well by the independent (private and VCS) sector.
    2. What good care is and how to recognise it when you find it.
    (3. Good news stories of hardworking, compassionate staff – not just the innovative and unique services in IoW, good and welcome as it might be) – that are just ordinary and well delivered. It’s what we do. All the time.

  5. Jan Millward says:

    Shocking expose of life in a care home in rural Dorset!
    A member of staff has exposed what it is like to be a resident in the Old Vicarage Care home in a series of reports which may shock and change peoples perceptions.
    Several reports of staff showing extreme kindness and care have been leaked out by an unnamed member of staff,
    Reports of residents dancing the conga in the corridor have yet to be confirmed, but our insider says this is a regular occurrence, and staff actively join in with the laughing and singing.
    During the summer, residents were spotted being taken out into the garden where they were seen picking and smelling roses and then having tea and cake. One group of residents were taken on a mini bus to Weymouth and were seen eating fish and chips on the beach.
    Our mole suggests that staff accompany them on regular trips and actively encourage merriment.
    This doesn’t end there. Over the last year the local community have also been involved with many charity events and there have been signs of happiness and enjoyment all summer.
    Donkeys and birds of prey as well as a python have all visited the home and the retired beach donkey was even encouraged into individual’s rooms.
    Management are fully aware of the situation and they even arranged for a 94 year old to go first class to an award gala earlier this year. The lady in question has failed to stop talking about the event ever since.
    Several staff have had to face a panel of judges recently as they were nominated to represent the South West region for the Great British care awards. If they continue to behave as they do, they will be asked to attend interviews in London for the national finals.
    One memorable afternoon a member of staff was seen to switch off the Jeremy Kyle show which had been accidentally left on and take the resident out for tea and cake.
    Another occurrence was when a member of staff stayed with a dying resident for 2 hours after her shift had ended so that she wasn’t alone. She was spotted holding the residents hand, giving mouth care and talking gently to her.
    This type of care which goes above and beyond expectations seems to be rife in the care industry and as yet has not received much exposure. Thousands of care homes up and down the country are subjecting their residents to similar situations.
    The public need to be made aware of what really happens in the majority of care homes and it is about time these homes stood up and were counted.

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