28. June 2012 14:46
More than a quarter of NHS and social care services in England are not delivering appropriate care, according to the first Care Quality Commission ‘market report’.
Medication errors and poor drug stock control were highlighted as widespread problems, while lack of staff was identified as the main reason for inadequate care.
Urgent measures used to address failings included the barring of new admissions to a nursing home in north London because of inaccurate medication records.
Other case studies included staff shortages in a Cambridgeshire NHS district nursing service and “chaotic” record-keeping at a Retreat psychiatric hospital.
In 14,000 inspections the CQC identified 130 services that needed urgent intervention, while thousands of lesser cases were addressed by requiring managers to draw up action plans for improvement.
The CQC found failure to meet its 16 quality standards in 22% of 581 NHS services; 18% of 850 private healthcare providers; and 28% of 12,000 care homes and home care services.
Inadequate staff training to handle complex medication regimes for patients was highlighted as a recurrent problem in the social care sector.
Jill Finney, CQC Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We want providers to look closely at this report in order to assure themselves that they are taking all steps necessary to protect people from poor care.”
The CQC will provide a similar health and social care market report every three months.