A report from the Care Quality Commission says 4,000 out of the 24,000 care homes in his country are deficient. It means that 80,000 elderly people are getting substandard care. Over 400 were rated poor while another 3,500 were rated "adequate" (evidently code for inadequate,)

The Commission has named eight councils – Bromley, Cornwall, Peterborough, Poole, Solihull, South Tyneside, Southwark, and Surrey – for doing badly overall with their provision.

High Council Tax levels do not equate to high care standards. My own Council's provision in this area was judged by the Commission as excellent. (Stephen Burke, the former Labour leader of Hammersmith of Fulham, has an article in The Times this morning stressing the validity of the Commission's findings so doubtless will wish to acknowledge the progress we have made since his departure.)

Other low Council Tax authorities such as Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea were also judged excellent. Wandsworth were considered to be doing "well."

The CQC chief executive, Cynthia Bower, says:

"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, despite the tough economic backdrop."

The CQC believe that Councils could get better value for money in he care they commission. They also believe more could be done on personalisation of care. But what about more help for the elderly to be cared for by their families to reduce the number that need for to go into care homes in the first place?