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14th May 2013

Inadequate community care creating crisis in NHS hospitals

First major speech by leader of the CQC

The chairman of the CQC has said that the healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. This is as a consequence of too many patients, many of them elderly, ending up in the acute care system because of inadequate care provision in the community.

David Prior, in his first major speech since being appointed to lead the health and social care watchdog, was speaking last week at a conference held by the health think tank the King’s Fund. He went on to say that regulators cannot promise to prevent repeats of scandals like Mid Staffordshire.

Close hospital beds and invest in community care

These are some of the strongest comments to be made by a senior figure on the state of the health and social care system. Although serious failings are observed from time to time, this almost seems to amount to an admission that there is a systemic problem in the provisioning of community care.

Some other highlights of Mr Prior’s speech included:

  • A call for large-scale closures of hospital beds and investment in community care
  • Criticism of the decision to allow GPs to opt out of out of providing out of hours care
  • The opinion that emergency admissions through A&E are out of control in large parts of the country, an unsustainable situation
  • An analysis that regulator existed because the market could not be left to its own devices
  • “If you buy a fridge and it doesn’t work, you can buy a new fridge. If healthcare goes wrong you can die.”

QCS compliance management helps prevent the main causes of harm

Mr Prior’s comments were reported by the Telegraph which also included data from the NHS Information Centre. Extrapolating the data from last month, the article said that one million NHS patients and care home residents suffer avoidable harm every year. The main causes of harm are identified as pressure ulcers, falls, urinary tract infections and blood clots.

QCS compliance management enables care homes to take the actions that are necessary to help prevent avoidable harm to service users. With detailed policies and procedures covering Care Planning and Medications Management, the QCS system provides the structured approach that ensures risks to service users and staff are controlled. As a consequence, this minimises the risks to your organisation that result from CQC compliance failure.

Click here to see how QCS helps to take control of compliance. Register for a FREE trial that lets you see how Care Planning, Medications Management or the Full Management System work.

Click here to see the article ‘Emergency care in crisis admits NHS regulator’ at

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