Care Quality Commission (CQC) had concerns for 'The Very Basics of Life'

The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new chairperson Dame Jo Williams was interviewed by The Times newspaper in September when she talked about her concerns for “the basics of life” lacking in some of the England’s health care and social care environments.

The Times said that almost 100 care homes and community care services had been shut down or closed voluntarily in the last year due to poorly trained care staff and management and substandard treatment of residents and service users.

The CQC said it had uncovered cases where adults with learning disabilities were verbally and psychologically abused by staff; where care home residents were not being given prescribed medication; and where bedrooms and bathrooms were left soiled with bodily fluids. Other cases included the use of illegal immigrants as unqualified and inexperienced carers and residents being left to develop pressure sores due to staff shortages.

Dame Jo said that decisions to close services had not been taken lightly, but added “There’s been some poorly trained staff not speaking properly to people, and very serious concerns about the safety of medicines and poor hygiene.” She goes on to say “These are the very basics of life, it’s absolutely our job to make sure that people are safe, that they are getting the right medication, (and the) standards of hygiene are appropriate.”

Under a tougher system of CQC regulation that came into force in early October all providers of social care and healthcare services must be registered with the CQC against a series of stringent standards. Care premises will be inspected at least once every two years. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, those that fail to meet standards could be prosecuted with their services suspended or closed.

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