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CQC Annual Assessment of State of Health and Social Care in England Highlights Need for Better Quality Data

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released its annual assessment of the state of health and social care in England that looks at the quality of care over the past year.

This year – based on CQC’s inspection activity, information received from the public and those who deliver care alongside other evidence – the assessment is that the health and care system is gridlocked and unable to operate effectively.  Most people are still receiving good care when they can access it – too often, however, people are not able to access the care they need.

The report highlights the need for better quality data and increased data sharing.  Solutions to the problems that affect people’s care can only come from long-term planning and investment, with local areas taking a whole system view that recognises the relationship between health and social care and addresses the root causes behind the immediate and obvious problems. To understand what is driving performance, local leaders need to bring together data and information from providers and other local stakeholders and agree success measures that are focused on people’s overall experience of care, not limited to organisation or sector.

Better quality data and increased data sharing are critical not only to planning for people’s care needs but to understanding and tackling inequalities in people’s experience of and access to care. CQC’s work across local areas has highlighted that the current recording of demographic data, especially on ethnicity and disability, is not good enough.

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