Commenting on the CQC’s report, United Response chief executive Tim Cooper said: “This year’s CQC State of Care report reinforces much of what is already widely known – that the social care crisis has now gone from bad to worse and things must change fast.

“Health and social care staff are exhausted from managing the pandemic, and the CQC rightly considers this a key finding of its report. The workforce is quickly becoming depleted as we head into the challenging winter months, and the negative impact of working under such ongoing pressures simply cannot be underestimated.

“The vital role of adult social care was made clear during the pandemic, and urgent action is needed to tackle staffing issues and the increased stresses caused by staff shortages.

“Government’s £162m social care workforce fund is a helpful and welcome first step for our beleaguered sector to begin tackling a worsening issue affecting thousands of services and care homes – as well as their residents.

“It must not be forgotten that people with learning disabilities have faced increasing challenges as a result of the pandemic, ranging from a greater risk of respiratory illness, Covid-related death and isolation from loved ones. It is more important than ever to ensure registered care homes and supported living services are adequately staffed.

“The Chancellor must use this week’s Spending Review announcement to confirm ring-fenced monies for local authorities to fund fair rates of pay for social care workers and swiftly stave off the ‘tsunami’ of unmet care across the country this winter.”