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Early CQC inspections reveal staff shortages in community


Early inspections of community services have revealed concerns about staffing levels, an official from the Care Quality Commission has told a nursing conference.

The findings reinforce ongoing warnings from district nurses that they are under intense pressure, with increasing caseloads, reductions in team skill mix and many experienced staff nearing retirement.  

Ellen Armistead, deputy chief inspector of hospitals, last week revealed findings from the first 12 community services inspected under the CQC’s new system of checks, which is currently being rolled out across health and social care organisations in England.

Ellen Armistead

Ellen Armistead

Speaking at the Queen’s Nursing Institute annual conference in London, Ms Armistead noted that compassion among staff appeared to be “alive and well” in community services.

However, she added that, based on the initial trends identified, dementia care needed to be improved and nursing staff levels increased.

She told delegates that the inspections had revealed “wide variation” in staffing levels between community trusts.  


Readers' comments (3)

  • We don't need any organisation to tell us (health workers) of the state of the NHS, staffing levels, or the standards of care of any client/patient group. No-one listens to the staff on the ground, be it HCA's nurses, AHPs, Drs, etc.

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  • I agree with the above and would add..
    Proper checks need to be made to ensure that care homes employ Registered Managers who work within the law and can effectively create sound care plans for those with complex nursing and/or dementia needs in order to avoid current institutionalised abuse and neglect.
    There should be a legal requirement to have display boards in entrance halls of all care home units displaying names and photos of all staff PLUS their qualifications, start date in that unit and photos of those for whom they are responsible key workers. This would allow people to see if a registered home manager was employed there and is genuinely registered, if staff turnover was extraordinarily high and if nurses are NMC registered and acquainted with legal requirements, e.g. DoLS. Non registered nurses - and sadly sometimes registered ones too - can sometimes be prone to obeying the business proprietors who pretend to be home managers and avoid employing the real ones. This increases the business profits for them but seriously deprives very vulnerable people of the level of care they need, often resulting in humiliation and avoidable pain being inbuilt into their dying process.

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  • I think there should be a way to anonymously register complaints with an intermediate body who will progress the issue with the relevant people such as the CQC, CCG, Social Services Safeguarding, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates and then the Ombudsman Services.
    As things stand now those criticised
    tend to respond by destroying the complainant but continue to take home their salaries for doing the exact opposite of what public funding pays them to do. Even, they add to the financial problem by causing health problems to additional people, that is the complainants. Why are they not sacked? They are either incompetent or malicious, or both.

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