The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director – People, which provided an update on and highlighted key issues with respect to Quality Assurance in care homes and domiciliary care.
It was reported that during the pandemic both the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Halton’s Quality Assurance Team had to amend the way that they supported the sector undertaking a risk assessment approach and alternative arrangements for assessing and monitoring and only ‘crossing the threshold’ in relation to serious safeguarding issues. This had significantly reduced intelligence and notifications received by the services, which also had an impact on reporting of ratings. It was noted that the Quality Assurance Team had now started to undertake safe and well visits and the CQC had resumed inspection activities.
The report provided Members with the care home ratings for July 2021 and the domiciliary care ratings for July 2020. It also discussed the sustainability of the care sector and challenges faced since the onset of the pandemic and highlighted the Lessons Learned and Home First approaches.
Further to a query the Board was advised that vacancies in care homes were only at 3% presently so they were filling up, but it should be noted that the closure of some units within care homes had affected their capacity.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.