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The Care Quality Commission's overview of the adult social care market shows that almost a quarter of care homes for older people were rated 'adequate' or 'poor'. A fifth are not meeting the standard for social contact and activities.   There has been a steady improvement in ratings awarded to councils: 95% of local authorities are performing either excellently or well in their commissioning of adult social care (compared to 87% in the previous year) One quarter of councils are rated only adequate in terms of giving people choice and control over their care. A third of councils must do more to care for people with dignity and respect   Ratings for adult social care providers have improved but one in six providers are rated only poor or adequate: 77% of care homes, home care agencies, nursing agencies and shared lives schemes are rated excellent or good (compared to 69% in 2008) Around 400 regulated adult social care services are rated as poor and 3,500 as adequate In care homes for older people, a fifth fail to meet the standard on social contact and activities   Cynthia Bower of CQC says, “It is good to see the steady improvements and this should be recognised. However, I am concerned that many care homes and agencies have more to do to deliver the quality of care expected of them. There are also serious issues for councils to address in areas such as giving people more control over their care, and treating people with dignity. I want to see the regulator and councils working in tandem to drive poor quality care out of the market. It is striking that many of the issues of most concern to the public, such as dignity, are not necessarily things that cost a lot of money to put right. So there is clearly room to continue improving services. I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of lower spending on social care."    Long term care: News update: 19 December 2009   Related links Find out more about long term care insurance   What is long term care?   Enquire about long term care insurance