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Reflecting on the state of health and social care in England

12 November 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 20


John Tingle, Lecturer in Law, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, discusses the latest State of Care annual report from the Care Quality Commission, which addresses some important patient safety issues

The annual assessments of the state of health and social care in England from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are always good reads. They contain key information on trends, challenges, successes, failures and opportunities. A national overview of performance assists in the planning and delivery of health and social care service provision.

In the latest of these reports (CQC, 2020a) there is an analysis of provision before and after COVID-19. There are important lessons to be learned from the report, which the pandemic has brought into sharp focus. There are also some trailing patient safety issues identified that were severe problems before the pandemic and continue to be so now during the second wave.

The report argues that before COVID-19 care was generally good, but with little overall improvement with some specific areas of concern identified. In terms of NHS acute care, there was some improvement over the year with 75% of core services being rated good or outstanding compared with 72% the previous year. A worrying alarm bell was sounded on some services:

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