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CQC report raises major staffing concerns in secure care settings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released their State of Care 2022/23 report, highlighting major concerns about staffing in secure care and immigration settings in England.

In secure care, significant staffing shortages were found at all three high secure hospitals, leading to restrictions on patient access to therapies and activities. Combined with increases in the number of applications to deprive people of their liberty (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, DoLS) who do not have the mental capacity to consent to their care needs, and delays in the implementation of new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), these staffing issues can have a negative impact on patient recovery.

Alarming staff shortages were also found in immigration detention settings. In one immigration removal centre, a joint inspection uncovered a 51% nursing and support staff vacancy rate, compounded by difficulties securing agency staff. Further, difficulty in recruiting meant there was no psychology provision at the site at all at the time of inspection.

The CQC is a member of the UK National Preventive Mechanism, which aims to strengthen the protection of people in detention through independent monitoring. See the full State of Care 2022/23 report (opens in a new tab) to read all the CQC’s findings.