Prosecutions and other criminal enforcement actions against unsafe care homes and NHS hospitals have risen a third in a year, amid warnings of a growing crisis. Charities said older people were being put at risk by “a broken social care system and an overstretched NHS” as they urged ministers to act. Official figures show that last year, watch dogs enforced 211 criminal enforcement actions against failing providers - a rise from 159 the year before. The statistics from the Care Quality Commission, covering prosecutions, cautions and fixed penalty notices, come along side a sharp rise in civil actions taken against providers. There were 906 such cases in 2018/19, compared with 781 the year before.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The fact that the CQC felt the need to use their enforcement powers a lot more often last year than the year before is a worry, and given all we know about the pressures in the system it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this reflects an overall decline in care standards, as providers struggle to make ends meet and the temptation to cut corners in terms of quality and safety inexorably grows.”
Source: The Telegraph, 26 July 2019