The CQC unveiled their annual “State of health care and adult care in England 2018/19” report, summarising the main points from some 32,000 inspections.
The report starts on a positive note: generally the quality of care is improving slightly . . . then highlights a number of areas where improvement is needed and the issues Inspectors found. Points to note being:
- continuing problems accessing GP appointments (2-3 weeks is not uncommon)
- 1:8 patients default to A&E rather than accepting a GP appointment
- more A&E departments are not meeting the 4 hour target
- waiting times for treatment in hospitals has continued to increase
- care provided to those with a disability is not acceptable – 14 providers were rated as Inadequate and placed in Special Measures
- more and better community services are needed, with better integration and innovation by those involved
With regard to the provision of Ambulance services, the report notes improvement in NHS Ambulance Trusts, with 7 out of the 10 rated as Good. Mention is made of the excellent work NHS Ambulance Trusts have been doing to improve the management of patients at risk of (or having) fallen on a local basis, with advice on equipment and training having a positive impact and reducing conveyances and admissions to hospital.
The report notes that whilst the level of care provided by independent ambulance providers (33 out of 300 registered being inspected), improvement is required in a number of areas, such as medicines management, recruitment and cleanliness.
The Association continues to work with CQC to improve standards in the independent ambulance sector, and consistency in the approach of inspections teams.