The Care Quality Commission has published their State of Care Report 2020-21, which covers the many challenges and consequences of the Covid pandemic.

The impact on those working in the health and social care is recognised, particularly the toll it’s had on the workforce. The vacancy rate within the sector is rising to alarming levels, with some providers handing their CQC licences back. This is unlikely to improve in the coming months if not years as job opportunities in other sectors increase.

The Report covers the transition to an ‘intelligence based’ approach to monitoring providers, with a shift to targetted inspection visits.

The need to ensure funding supports new approaches to providing care, particularly in social care is highlighted. The creation of Integrated Care Systems provides the opportunity to ensure the opportunity for this – CQC will have responsibilty for regulating ICS’s and the quality of provision across health and social care.

The challenges of providing ambulance services focusses on the difficulties faced by front-line 999 services, which are are ongoing.

With regret, no mention is made of the contribution made by non-emergency Patient Transport Providers during the pandemic in supporting NHS Trusts and NHS Ambulance Trusts, ensuring patients continued to receive life-saving treatment, and transferring Covid positive patients to and between Hospitals, particularly capacity was challenged.

We know the independent ambulance sector played a crucial role during the pandemic, providers and their staff stepping-up to the challenges being faced, upskilling staff and investing in equipment and Covid-safe ways of working. For those patients whose lives you helped save, thank you.