Care quality on the rise in Somerset

Not a single Somerset care provider is rated inadequate and nearly 90 per cent are good or outstanding, the County Council can reveal today.

On the day when the Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes its annual State of Care report, Somerset can boast a care sector in which 87 per cent of providers are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ under the care watchdog’s new inspection regime.

This puts Somerset comfortably ahead of regional and national averages, with the quality of care steadily rising despite increasing demands and big pressures on budgets.

In the last 12 months the proportion of providers rated good or outstanding in Somerset has risen from 79 per cent to today’s 87 per cent. And, for the first time, not a single provider is rated inadequate.

The impressive picture is the result of hard work from care providers and their staff, with support from the County Council. The Council works closely with providers, the Somerset Registered Care Provider Association and the CQC to monitor performance and drive up standards, providing challenge and support where needed.

A Care Home Support Team is available to advise, guide and share best practice. In August around 200 providers attended a Provider Development day at County Hall focused on improving quality. In December a similar event will bring providers together to discuss ‘How to achieve Outstanding’.

Councillor David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “In very challenging times for the sector, the standard of care in this county is rising and that is a real achievement.

“It is down to the hard work and expertise of the people who work in the sector, and we are proud to be playing our part. Our providers are always looking for new staff and careers in care offer a chance to make a real difference to people lives. If you think it might be for you then I’d urge you to find out more about the Proud to Care South West initiative that we are backing”.

“Our finances are under enormous pressures”, he added. “And this shows that it’s about spending what money you have wisely, and making sure you do everything you can to make the most impact”.

There are around 350 care providers in Somerset: 225 residential care homes, 60 nursing homes and 70 home care providers. Figures from the beginning of October show that:

  • 89 per cent of residential care homes were good or outstanding (82 per cent nationally)
  • 80 per cent of nursing homes were good or outstanding (70 per cent nationally)
  • 92 per cent of home care providers (domiciliary care) were good or outstanding (84 per cent nationally)

The Proud to Care South West initiative highlights the rewarding career opportunities available in the health and care sector. People can find out more about the opportunities and vacancies available by visiting www.proudtocaresw.org.uk