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CQC State of Care 2015/16

13 October 2016

In its annual assessment of the quality of health and adult social care in England for 2015/16, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a stark warning about the sustainability of adult social care.

The independent health and social care regulator rated 71% of the adult social care (ASC) services as ‘good’ and 1% as ‘outstanding' but stated that the sector was 'approaching a tipping point'.

The CQC’s concerns were based on evidence from its inspections, information from its market oversight function, and external data. The CQC found that:

  • a quarter of re-inspected 'inadequate' services had not improved, with far fewer 'requires improvement' services improving after re-inspection than in previous years
  • the numbers of nursing beds had stopped increasing
  • profit margins had reduced
  • providers had handed back ‘undeliverable’ contracts because of cost pressures.

The CQC further stated that challenges in adult social care had already had negative impacts on people with care needs and the rest of the health care system. The report highlighted rising demand due to people living longer and with multiple complex conditions and high levels of unmet need among older people.


Care Quality Commission.
The state of health and care and adult social care in England 2015/16.
Care Quality Commission; 2016.

Care Quality Commission.
Adult social care 'approaching tipping point', warns quality regulator [webpage].
Care Quality Commission; 2016.