More people with learning disabilities are being cared for in services that have failed regulatory standards on safeguarding than in services that have met them, with the use of restraint the biggest cause of concern.
The Care Quality Commission’s State of Care report, published today, draws conclusions from around 13,000 inspections of health and social care services.
It found use of physical restraint varied greatly and was often poorly recorded in services.
This meant it was difficult to work out why the patient had been restrained, how often and for how long and lessons were not learned from them, the CQC report said.
Just 51% of independent healthcare providers were meeting the safeguarding standard, compared to 59% of adult social care and 79% of NHS services. Overall 58% of people were being cared for in a service that was non-compliant.
The report also raised concerns about the use of seclusion as a form of restraint, as well as the use of blanket rules restricting when patients could have a drink, go for a cigarette or contact their family.
It said this could make people feel “controlled” and “unable to exercise their own choices”.
In about a third of care homes, staff had no training on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and inspectors also reported a lack of understanding of the Mental Health Act among staff.
This meant patients, who were not formally detained, being subject to the same restrictions on their liberty as those that were.
The report said a lack of staff or insufficiently skilled staff added to the risk of excessive use of various forms of restraint.