Best & Worst Counties for Care in the UK

FamilyElderly Care

  • Author Joseph Davis
  • Published December 15, 2023
  • Word count 1,063

TrustedCare have revisited their care quality league table to see how things have changed in the past 5 years.

The table ranks counties in order of the proportion of care homes and nursing homes within the county with a Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating of Good or Outstanding. It’s safe to say that in the 5 years that have passed, all homes have had at least one inspection from the CQC & this has resulted in some pretty seismic shifts within the league table (See below)

There are always challenges to overcome when it comes to the delivery of high quality care. However, it is worth pointing out that in the past 5 years the sector has had to cope with a mass exodus of staff following legislative changes including the vaccine mandate & post Brexit arrangements.v Furthermore, the responsibility of caring for society’s most vulnerable during a global pandemic which necessitated the need for social distancing.

Top of the table:

  1. Isle of Wight

First place in the care quality league table goes to the Isle of Wight with 97% of homes on the island achieving a CQC Good or Outstanding rating. This is a huge triumph for the county as back in 2017 they were only 2 spots above the bottom of the table with just 70% of services on

the island having been awarded a Good or Outstanding rating.

Laura Gaudion, Director of Adult Social Care and Housing Needs at the Isle of Wight Council, said: “This achievement is a testament to the dedication, hard work and determination of our local care home and home care providers and their hardworking staff teams. They are incredibly dedicated to delivering the best care and support to some of the most vulnerable members of our Island community. We have been really fortunate to work in partnership with Mountbatten Hospice to create a programme of learning and development aimed specifically at raising the

standard of care and support on the Island. This has paid dividends!

“To have been recognised nationally for the hard work of all those involved in delivering care and support is an amazing achievement during these challenging financial times. We continue to work together to do everything we can to deliver the best outcomes for our residents.

“Most importantly we have been making a real difference in people's lives and that’s what gives us the motivation to do our best every day”

  1. Bristol

Bristol is currently the second best place in the UK for social care, with 91% of services achieving a Good or Outstanding rating. This is a monumental climb up the table for the county, having moved 38 places, from 40th to 2nd.

  1. Tyne & Wear

Coming in third is the county of Tyne & Wear, with 89% of services achieving an Outstanding or Good rating. This is another good performance by the county who were ranked 30th back in 2017.

  1. Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire are sitting in a very respectable 4th position with 88% of services achieving a Good or Outstanding rating. Again, this is a jump up the table for the county who were ranked 7th back in 2017.

  1. Dorset

Dorset have jumped 6 places up the table, to come in fifth. They too have 88% of services with a Good/Outstanding rating in the county.

Bottom of the table:

Merseyside are the unfortunate victors of last place, of the 256 services within the county, only 64% have achieved a Good/Outstanding rating. In fact, only one service, Mayfield Court, has been awarded an Outstanding rating. Unfortunately for those requiring care in Merseyside, the

picture of care in the county was not much better back in 2017. They have only slipped by one place in the last five years from second to last, to last!

Coming in second to last is the county of Norfolk, they too have 64% of services with a CQC Good/Outstanding rating. However, they are coming in above Merseyside as a greater proportion of services within the county are rated Outstanding. Back in 2017, Norfolk were 39th in the table, so this is a drop of 8 places.

West Yorkshire are third from the bottom in 45th place, which is actually an improvement for the

county as back in 2017 they took last place. Currently, 66% of services within the county have a

Good or Outstanding rating.

The 44th spot on the table goes to Northamptonshire, with 67% of services achieving an Outstanding/Good rating. This is a significant drop for the county who were ranked 9th back in 2017; they have seen a 20% drop in services with a Good/Outstanding rating over this time.

Completing the bottom five is the West Midlands, who also have 67% of services with a Good or Outstanding rating. Back in 2017 the West Midlands sat in 33rd place & have now fallen 10 places to 43rd.

Key Considerations:

When choosing a care home, the current CQC rating is of course something that should be considered. However, it is worth being aware that once a CQC Outstanding or Good rating has been achieved, on average, the frequency of CQC inspections reduces. Using the same data that was used to compile this league table, TrustedCare looked at the average amount of time between when the inspection took place and when this article went to press (31/12/2022).

Rating Average time since last inspection & 31/12/2022

Outstanding 1,022 days / 2.8 years

Good 883 days / 2.4 years

Requires Improvement 458 days / 1.25 years

Inadequate 163 days / 0.4 years

This data reveals that once a service has achieved an Outstanding rating, on average, it is nearly 3 years before they are reinspected. Needless to say, within that timeframe a lot of changes can happen within a care service. Namely, a complete staff turnover, a recent report by

skills for care, put yearly staff turnover within the sector at 29%.

Notes to Editor:

  • The league table is informed by CQC Inspection data. It covers 14,995 residential and nursing care providers inspected under the regulator’s inspection process.

  • Please credit TrustedCare with having provided the source data for any content you publish by linking to the TrustedCare website:, is a unique care services directory website & brokerage service providing a range of information on care providers to help them make an informed choice about the care of themselves or a loved one. Launched in late 2012 by Founder Mark Walford with the aim of creating the most comprehensive source of care service information in the UK to help careseekers, care providers and care influencers.

Sources used to create this article were from the team at Trusted Care. They are one of the UK's elder care directory and they have access to the data and tools needed to create this piece. If you would like more information be sure to visit their website

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Article comments

Fergus Walsh
Fergus Walsh · 4 months ago
Hi Joe, great article. Thank you for publishing this piece. Would you be up for a telephone call reference piece? Kind regards Fergus

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