CQC have just published their annual report. http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/state-care-201415
The main thrust seems to be along the lines of 'many care services are OK, we're a bit worried that most are unsafe in some way - often because they haven't enough of the right staff - but it can all be sorted out by good leadership.' So that's really reassured me - not.
It would be difficult to imagine a more complacent piece of navel gazing,
in the face of a health and care service in dire crisis from cuts, privatization, staff reductions and thousands of disabled people being left to fend for themselves.
Someone needs to remind CQC of a few things -
Winterbourne View issues - 'rebranding' it as Transforming Care won't solve the problem - and isn't.
Cuts and 'budget pressures' are not challenging - they're a disaster for the people losing services.
Saying things are improving despite these pressures is akin to praising the re-arrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic.
Saying that quality is variable, and unsafe services are your main concern, is admitting that CQC is failing to protect people.
You can't solve these sort of major problems with a bit of 'good leadership' here and there - it needs resources, hard work at ground level and a willingness to seek out and eradicate poor and unsafe services. None of which CQC can provide - tickbox self assessments are not enough.
It has no resources, it doesn't experience the actual care work and it isn't CQC who has blown the whistle on the big disasters - it's TV and journalism, prompted by family carers unable to get anyone else to listen.
The report can be summarized as 'It's been a difficult year, things are pretty bad but we think we're doing OK, considering.' A rather less self absorbed and more problem solving approach would be more acceptable, but on balance I think I'd rather just have a better regulatory and inspection body than the one we seem to be stuck with.
We may be going to hell in a handcart, but thank goodness we've got CQC to tell us how well oiled the wheels are.