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CQC analysis shows how people with multiple conditions fall through health and care gaps

Responding to the CQC’s annual assessment of the state of health and social care, The Richmond Group is urging the Health and Social Care Secretary to ensure the next wave of CQC local system reviews focuses on people with multiple conditions.

Neil Tester, Director of The Richmond Group of Charities, said: “Last year the CQC highlighted that the quality of the care and support people receive depends on where you live and how well your local NHS and council services work together. This year’s report shows that the same is now true about access to services.

“This has a huge impact on people living with multiple long-term conditions, who need a wider range of services and see the gaps and duplication more often than others. When you’re older and have multiple needs, as most people over 65 do, the problems caused by a lack of connected services get even sharper. That’s why we’re calling on Matt Hancock to give the CQC clear authority to focus on people with multiple conditions in its next wave of local system reviews.

“The reviews the CQC has undertaken so far have identified vital issues and helped services begin to join up differently across traditional divides. As the NHS and councils aim to work more closely together to make good use of new resources, the Government must ensure that the CQC reviews it’s now asking for provide a true picture of what it’s like for older people to struggle against the unintended barriers services put in the way of people with multiple long-term conditions. The changes that will spark will also benefit the working age majority of people with similar needs.”

The CQC has been asked by the Government to conduct two previous waves of local system reviews, examining how well health and council services join up in specific local authority areas to support older people as they move between those services. CQC does not have legal powers to conduct these reviews without being instructed to by the Government, which decides what the reviews should cover. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced his intention to ask the CQC to undertake more reviews but has not yet announced the scope of the reviews.