Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, said:

'Today’s report shows how much pressure there is on health and social care services and how hard staff are working to maintain quality and access. At a national level, quality of care has mostly held up since last year. The CQC’s approach to look at the state of hospitals, community and social care services from the viewpoint of people in local areas shows how poor-quality services are often clustered together, making it harder for patients to access good services in some parts of the country, compared to others. This clustering needs much more attention.

'The 44% drop in district nursing numbers highlighted in this report is concerning, as adequate staffing in the community is needed for safe, high quality care, and to help people remain in their own homes where appropriate. More staff are needed across health and social care, and a comprehensive strategy to do this is urgently needed.

'As more patients develop multiple conditions, they need access to good quality, general practice, community nursing and social care, not just safe and efficient hospitals. The impact of increased funding for the NHS as promised by the Prime Minister in June will be limited if most of it goes only to hospitals, rather than social care and other services.'  

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