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BASW England responds to Care Quality Commission’s annual report on the state of health and social care in England

Maris Stratulis, National Director at BASW England, comments on CQC annual report into health and social care in England

BASW England is deeply concerned with many of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) findings highlighted in today’s annual report into the state of health and social care in England.

The report highlights that people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people have experienced a significant decline in the quality of care they are receiving. The number of inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people that have been rated ‘inadequate’ has more than tripled over the last year – from 4% to 13%.

According to the report: “Almost all of this happened in independent services, where the proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 5% to 22%; in contrast, NHS services rated as inadequate remained at 3% of the total.”

BASW is alarmed at these findings and echoes Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of the CQC, who has warned that the pandemic is magnifying pre-existing inequalities across the health and care system, which “risks turning fault lines into chasms”.

Maris Stratulis, National Director at BASW England, said: "BASW expresses thanks and gratitude to many social care colleagues across the sector, for their commitment and dedication in the face of adversity and uncertainty throughout the pandemic. “

“The CQC report highlights the underfunding of adult social care, alongside many stark inequalities. BASW England is deeply concerned that these inequalities around the access and provision of services continue to adversely affect Black and Minority Ethnic people, people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people “.

“The report warns that the pandemic is encouraging the development of “closed cultures” due to lockdown and the ongoing restrictions of movement, which is extremely concerning given the recent scandal at Yew Trees hospital, where eight women with learning disabilities were abused.

“Social workers need to be able to carry out their role to uphold and safeguard human rights and protect people. This is why BASW is campaigning for social workers to be given ‘Professional Visitor’ status, which would ensure visits to care settings are taking place – in order to ensure situations with poor quality care can be identified, and the appropriate action taken.”

You may be interested in social work resources to support best practice, co-produced with people and families in partnership with BASW England and SCIE:

You can read the full CQC report here.