Today, the CQC released its “State of Care” report and called for the reform of the “fragile” social care sector “to happen now – not at some point in the future.” The CQC also called for a “new deal for the care workforce.”

CQC inspectors continued to find poor care in inpatient wards for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people. The overall proportion of services rated as inadequate rose from 4% to 13% – almost entirely based on deterioration in independent services, rather than NHS services.

Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“We wholeheartedly agree with the CQC’s call for urgent social care reform and funding. The social care sector was on its knees before the coronavirus pandemic and increasing support needs and the soaring costs of delivering care during the pandemic means that the sector is more fragile than ever before. 

“During the pandemic, we have seen the social care sector quickly adapting to respond to this crisis despite limited support and resources from national government. However, funding pressures have meant that more and more people are seeing their support reduced, an increasing number of providers are struggling to keep afloat and social care staff - who have been doing extraordinary work in extremely challenging circumstances, risking their lives to support those who need it the most - continue to be underpaid and under-recognised. 

“It comes as no surprise that the CQC found inpatient care for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people poor-quality – those rated inadequate rose from 4% to 13%. These modern-day asylums are completely inappropriate places for people with a learning disability and/or autistic people that only put them at increased risk of abuse and neglect. The Government must act to get more good community provision in place. People deserve to live in homes not hospitals.”

Read the CQC press release here:

And the full report here:


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Notes to editors

1. Mencap is calling for:

  • a clear plan for supporting the whole care market, including services for work-aged disabled adults which currently make up over half of the total social care budget
  • additional funding to meet current demand for support and stabilise the sector
  • a road map towards the Government's plans for social care reform, including a long-term funding solution, fairer access to services and support and workforce reform
  • Social care reform and long-term funding must cover a range of services and support that people with a learning disability need beyond personal care to enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives in their community.

2. The social care sector needed an £8 billion investment in social care in England is needed to restore adequate levels of quality and access to what it was a decade ago, according to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee report. While the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services’ latest Budget Survey revealed that there is a growing hole in local authorities budgets for services supporting people with a learning disability – up to £200m in 2020/21 from £180m in 2019/20.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to local councils in England facing at least a £6.6bn increase in social care costs up to the end of September, according to the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services.

About Mencap

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.Mencapworks to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.Mencapsupports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they

For advice and information about learning disability andMencapservices in your area, contactMencap’s FreephoneLearning Disability Helplineon 0808 808 1111 (9am-6pm, Monday-Friday) or     

What is a learning disability?

  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;
  • Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;
  • People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.