Choosing the right care home is stressful say 7 in 10 adults

Participants in a survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated choosing residential care for family as one of life’s more stressful experiences. Their survey (n equal to 1000) asked participants to rank their stress level during key life events, such as organising a wedding and finding a child a nursery or school place. 70% of the sample who were responsible for choosing care in a care home or at home – for themselves or a loved one – within the last three years rated choosing a care home as the most stressful life event. (via Healthwatch)

Over half (52%) of people surveyed  cited choosing a care home and 31% had cited choosing care at home in their top three most stressful life decisions.

There was some variation in experience across the country, with the highest proportion of people in the North East (60%), Yorkshire and Humber (56%) and the North West and East Midlands (both 54%) saying that choosing a care home was their most stressful life decision.  These regions are some of those where CQC has found the highest proportion of adult social care services rated as Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

The findings have been published to raise awareness of how CQC’s inspection reports can be used to inform decision making about care, currently only 50 per cent of those looking into care options were consulting CQC’s reports. Of these, three-quarters acknowledged they provided them with a better understanding of the quality of care provided.

Care Quality Commission Choosing care is one of life’s most stressful experiences but trusted information can help, finds CQC

Healthwatch  Choosing care can be stressful

Maternity services survey 2017

Maternity services survey 2017 |  The Care Quality Commission


This survey looked at the experiences of women receiving maternity services. The results show that overall women are reporting a more positive experience of maternity care and treatment. The publication highlights improvements in areas such as choice of where to give birth, quality of information and access to help and support after giving birth, when compared to the results from previous years’ surveys.

Compared with the last survey in 2015 a greater proportion of women said that they:

  • were offered the choice of giving birth in a midwife-led unit or birth centre
  • saw the same midwife at every antenatal appointment
  • were ‘always’ treated with dignity and respect during labour and birth
  • were never left alone during the birth of their baby at a time when it worried them
  • could ‘always’ get help from a member of staff within a reasonable time while in hospital after the birth

For more information, please see the statistical release, which provides the results for all questions: Maternity services survey 2017: Statistical release

Regulation of independent healthcare services

The Care Quality Commission has launched a consultation on proposals for the regulation of independent healthcare services.  The CQC is seeking views on how to introduce quality ratings following inspections for independent healthcare providers and to develop how it monitors, inspects and rates services provided by these organisations.  The consultation closes 23 March 2018.

Additional ink: CQC press release

Substance misuse services

This briefing looks at the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol | Care Quality Commission (CQC)


The Care Quality Commission has published Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification. This briefing examines the quality and safety of clinics offering residential services for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.  It outlines concerns identified during CQC inspections and gives an example of good practice, as well as actions and recommendations.

The briefing reported a number of concerns. Many of the clinics were not:

  • assessing the risks to the safety of people prior to their admission following recognised national clinical guidance on treating people who are withdrawing from alcohol or drugs
  • storing, dispensing and handling medicines
  • appropriately carrying out full employment checks or sufficiently training their staff

The CQC also found that nearly three in four providers failed in at least one of the fundamental standards of care that everyone has the right to expect, whilst almost two-thirds of providers were not meeting the requirement for providing safe care and treatment.

Full briefing: Substance misuse services: the quality and safety of residential detoxification


Urgent and emergency care: best practice

This CQC report offers practical examples of how leading emergency departments are meeting the challenges of managing capacity and demand, and managing risks to patient safety .

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This report from the Care Quality Commission details the good practice identified following the Commission’s work with consultants, clinical leads, senior nursing staff and managers from leading emergency departments in 17 NHS acute trusts.

This resource identifies:

  • strategies staff use to meet the challenge of increased demand and manage risks to patient safety
  • positive actions to address potential safety risks and to manage increased demand better
  • how working with others can manage patient flow and ensure patients get the care they need
  • that rising demand pressures in emergency departments are an issue for the whole hospital and local health economy.

Full report: Sharing best practice from clinical leaders in emergency departments

Community mental health survey 2017

Latest survey from Care Quality Commission (CQC) looks at the experiences of people receiving community mental health services


A survey of over 12,000 people who received care or treatment for a mental health condition found around two-thirds of respondents reported a positive experience of overall care.

The vast majority of respondents said that they knew how to contact the person in charge of their care if they had concerns. Higher proportion of respondents this year also knew who to contact out of hours if they were experiencing a crisis.

However, concerns remain about the quality of care some people experience when using community mental health services. There has been little notable improvement in survey results in the last year in the majority of areas.

The CQC believe the results suggest scope for further improvements in a number of areas including: crisis care, access and coordination of care, involvement in care, monitoring the effects of medication and receiving additional support.

Further detail via Care Quality Commission

Full analysis: 2017 Community Mental Health Survey Statistical release

Related:  CQC Report Finds ‘Major Issues’ Surrounding Access To Mental Health Care

Review Of Children And Young People’s Mental Health Services: Phase One Report

This report confirms many of the issues raised in the Five year forward view for mental health and comments on the difficulties children and young people face in accessing appropriate support for their mental health concerns from a system that is fragmented and where services vary in quality | Care Quality Commission 


This report is the first phase of a major thematic review requested by the Prime Minister in January 2017. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has drawn on existing reports, research and other evidence and its inspections of children and young people’s mental health services, as well as conversations with young people to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system.

CQC has found that, whilst most specialist services provide good quality care, too many young people find it difficult to access services and so, do not receive the care that they need when they need it. One young person told CQC that they waited 18 months to receive help.

This report also lays the foundations for the next phase of CQC’s review. Phase two will seek to identify where has there been real change in the system, where change has been slower and what was needed to drive better care.