CQC publishes 12 reports from its review of services for people with learning disabilities

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) publishes a further 12 reports from a targeted programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities.


The programme is looking at whether people experience safe and appropriate care, treatment and support and whether they are protected from abuse. A national report into the findings of the programme will be published in the Spring.


The 12 inspections covered locations that provided a range of services including assessment and treatment, rehabilitation and longer term care.


Inspections were focused on two outcomes relating to the government’s essential standards of quality and safety: the care and welfare of people who use services, and safeguarding people who use services from abuse. Of the 12 locations inspected:

  • four locations were compliant with both outcomes (although one has
    been told to make improvements to make sure it continues to comply)
  • two locations had moderate concerns with both outcomes
  • no major concerns were found at any of the locations.

Specifically, in relation to the care and welfare of people who use services, four locations were compliant, five had minor concerns and three had moderate concerns. The type of issues highlighted by CQC’s inspection teams included a lack of evidence that people had been involved in the planning of their care, care plans not being produced in accessible formats and only a limited range of activities for people using services.


In relation to safeguarding, seven locations were compliant, one had minor concerns and four had moderate concerns. Failings included a lack of understanding of policies and alleged incidents of abuse not always being responded to appropriately or promptly. Nine of the locations were NHS and three from independent health care.


CQC inspectors were joined by ‘experts by experience’ – people who have first hand experience of care or as a family carer and who can provide the patient or carer perspective as well as professional experts in our learning disability inspections.


Where inspectors identified concerns, they raised these immediately with the providers and managers of services. All the services where concerns are identified must tell the CQC how and when they will improve. Those failing to meet essential standards could face enforcement action by the regulator if improvements are not made.

The national report will be based on the findings from all the 150 inspections and will make conclusions about the overall state of this type of service.

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