Fieldfisher response to the Care Quality Commission's State of Care report
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today produced its annual State of Care report. The report covers the CQC's findings in respect of health care and adult social care in England, up to the end of May 2015. It does not make good reading.
The key findings are as follows:
- 7% of services were rated as inadequate, meaning that the CQC feels that not only is the care substandard, but that the care is so poor that urgent improvements are needed.
- Those from minority ethnic groups are less likely to have a positive healthcare experience than others. For example 90% of white cancer patients deemed their care to be good or excellent, compared to only 75% of Asian cancer patients.
- Those with mental health problems were found to be frequently failing to receive basic respect, warmth and compassion. The CQC deem this to be not only unfair but also unsafe.
- 13% of hospitals are deemed inadequate for safety.
- Only 1% of hospitals were deemed to be providing outstanding care.
Trusts which have been placed under special measures, meaning urgent improvements are required, include Barts Health NHS Trust, Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Colchester Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Mark Bowman, partner at specialist medical negligence firm Fieldfisher commented on the report:
"Unfortunately these findings are expected. Our experience is that an alarming number of people continue to receive substandard healthcare in England. Reading the report in detail, one can see that whilst only 1% of hospitals are deemed to be providing outstanding care, 57% are deemed to require improvement and a further 8% are deemed inadequate, i.e. urgent changes are required. The picture is only slightly more favourable for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, namely those with mental health problems, with 31% of hospitals requiring improvement and 3% being deemed inadequate. What is equally alarming is that there are examples of wide variances in care not only between hospitals but within individual hospitals too. Consistency of care is vital if the NHS wishes to be seen as one of the most equitable health systems in the world.
"Looking at the Trusts that have been placed in special measures, i.e. where the CQC deemed the care to be very poor, it is no surprise to see Barts Health NHS Trust. My colleagues and I have litigated, and continue to litigate numerous cases against this trust, including a case where a lady required an above knee amputation as a result of a negligent delay in recognising an arterial blockage to her lower leg and a case where a baby boy was left with cerebral palsy as a result of negligent errors at the time of his birth. Likewise, only very recently we settled a multimillion pound claim against Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of negligent errors at the time of her birth, and we received an admission of liability for a case against East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
"One hopes that the CQC's findings will lead to improvements in the level of healthcare being provided, but given that past performance is usually the best indicator of future care, I cannot say that I am optimistic that patients will notice a dramatic improvement in the care and level of service that they receive in the near future."
For further information, please contact:
Mark Bowman, Partner
Personal injury & Medical Negligence - 020 7861 4043
Ibrahim Kamara, Senior Manager – Marketing and Corporate Communications, Fieldfisher on 020 7861 4120
Jack Rich, Senior PR and Communications Executive, Fieldfisher on 020 7861 4758
Notes to Editor
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