“However, there is still too much poor care, some providers are failing to improve, and there is even some deterioration.
“It appears to be increasingly difficult for some providers to deliver the safe, high quality and compassionate care people deserve and have every right to expect. With demand for social care expected to rise over thenext two decades, this is more worrying than ever.
“Last October, CQC gave a stark warning that adult social care was approaching a tipping point. This was driven by more people with increasingly complex conditions needing care but in a challenging economic climate, facing greater difficulties in accessing the care they need.
“While this report focuses on our assessment of quality and not on the wider context, with the deterioration we are seeing in services rated as Good together with the struggle to improve for those with Inadequate and Requires Improvement ratings, the danger of adult social care approaching its tipping point has not disappeared. If it tips, it will mean even more poor care, less choice and more unmet need for people.
“The announcement in the Chancellor’s budget statement of £2 billion additional funding over the next three years is welcome but even more welcome is the promise of a Government consultation this year, which hopefully will lead to a long-term solution to support good quality, person-centred adult social care, both now and into the future.
“Quality must be at the heart of the long term reform of social care in England. CQC will continue to keep its relentless focus on quality with regulation becoming more targeted, risk-based and intelligence-driven over the next few years. But we cannot do it alone. Everyone must play their part in making sure quality matters and that adult social care services provide care that we would all be happy to use.”
Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “This report recognises that there is a lot of great care provided by committed leaders and staff through high quality services to people in care homes and in their own home.
“Our recent 2017 budget survey shows that whilst extra funding is very welcome, it doesn’t meet increasing needs and costs, that 74 per cent of directors report that providers face quality challenges and that 69 per cent of councils had experienced provider failure or returned contracts.
“The risk of adult social care approaching its tipping point is still real and we will focus on re-doubling our mutual efforts to ensure that the quality of care doesn’t deteriorate and that older and disabled people and their families get the reliable, personal care they need and deserve.”