Exclusive: Care home inspections hit record low as CQC funding slashed

The Care Quality Commission has been forced to admit that it inspects far fewer care homes than ever before.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were only 5,331 inspections this year, compared to more than 48,000 inspections six years ago.

CQC inspection numbers are shown in the graph below.

A small proportion of the decline is down to changes in responsibility, that meant Ofsted took over inspecting certain institutions. But this doesn’t account for much.

The CQC has been damaged by budget cuts and, as a result, has shifted it’s approach to inspections. Rather than visiting lots of homes, inspectors will now visit far fewer homes but almost always (98% of the time) do so unannounced.

Although unannounced inspections are obviously more likely to catch problems, there are now so few inspections it is inevitable that the CQC will miss scores of serious issues. This was highlighted recently by Panorama’s exposure of abuse taking place in Winterourne View Care Home. In that instance, the CQC failed to pick up on the abuse despite a senior nurse, Terry Bryan, reporting the issues to the regulator. When the CQC failed to step in, Bryan contacted the BBC.

View the documents here:

Table of adult social care inspection activity from 2002 v1 (Word doc)

ASC services at 090910 (3) (Excel)

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3 Responses to Exclusive: Care home inspections hit record low as CQC funding slashed

  1. Lucy says:

    I’m really pleased I found your blog, and also really interested in the correspondence on finance you posted in your last update. It’d be interested to view the correspondence between CQC and DH on their latest request for increased funding.

    I’m interested in the data you’ve posted here though, as it looks somewhat different to data CQC released to me under FOI:
    http://thesmallplaces.blogspot.com/2011/07/regulation-rights-and-risk.html

    The figures I have for care home inspection in 2002/3 (which was CSCI, not CQC) are significantly lower than you report. It could be that the data you have has been created by collapsing together the number of inspections and visits of all three predecessor inspectorates (CSCI, MHAC and Healthcare Commission) – but these aren’t just care homes, they include hospitals and homecare services as well.

    You might also be interested to see that whilst – since 2007 – inspection of adult services have declined, inspections (now by Ofsted) of children’s services have continued at pretty much the same rate:
    http://twitter.com/#!/TheSmallPlaces/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitpic.com%2F6ajxri
    http://twitter.com/#!/TheSmallPlaces/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitpic.com%2F6ajxy1

    • AccessDocs says:

      Hi. That’s strange about the difference in figures. I’ll have a look back at the stuff sent to me and see if I can find any explanation for it. I’ll also upload a few more of the emails and letters as PDFs later today or tomorrow. Thanks for those links as well – looks interesting! Cheers.

  2. Pingback: Revealed: Emails detail how cuts led to care homes scandal | Liberal Conspiracy

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