The CQC has asked for an overhaul of the health and social care funding, commissioning and regulation.
The report, ‘Beyond Barriers’, explored how people aged over 65 use health and care services in England.
Following a review of 20 local health and care systems, the CQC concluded that although there are some examples of local health and care services working together, there are also many instances of ineffective coordination – leading to fragmented care.
Better support for older people
In order to better care for older people, the CQC is suggesting local leaders develop a joint plan to support the needs of older people in their own homes.
The CQC suggested that this should be supported by reforming long-term funding to the remove the obstacles to social care and NHS to combine their resources to meet the needs of their local populations.
The regulator also recommended a shift from an activity-focused to a population-centric funding approach that encourages collaboration between local systems.
Commenting on the report, CQC chief executive Sir David Behan said: ‘We are making specific recommendations to local and national leaders and government on new approaches to funding, commissioning, performance measurement and regulation, designed to encourage local systems to work together more effectively to deliver personalised care to the people who rely on their services, and to safeguard quality of care into the future.’
A single joint framework to measure how local services perform in improving outcomes for the elderly should also be in place and the CQC should be able to ‘regulate systems and hold them to account for how people and organisations work together to support people to stay well and to improve the quality of care people experience across all the services they use’.
Finally, new joint workforce plans are needed to make it easier for employees to move across health and social care settings.
Care minister Caroline Dinenage said: ‘This report confirms what we already know – the provision of NHS services and social care are two sides of the same coin and it is not possible to have a plan for the NHS without having a plan for social care.’
Funding gap in social care
Commenting on the CQC’s report, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board chairman Cllr Izzi Seccombe said that ‘integration alone cannot solve the financial challenges facing health and social care’.
She added: ‘There is a significant funding gap facing adult social care which needs to be plugged with more government funding if we are to help people of all ages to stay living independently at home and returning home more promptly from hospital.
The LGA estimated that adult social care services will face a funding gap of £2bn by 2020.