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Government unveils plans to rate all independent health care services

Government unveils plans to rate all independent health care services

All healthcare organisations in England offering regulated care are set to be rated by the Care Quality Commission in a bid to improve safety standards.

The ratings will need to be clearly displayed so that patients can be aware of how healthcare teams operate.

Some 800 additional care providers will be included when the CQC’s current care ratings programme – which covers general practice, social care and hospital care – is extended.

It will mark the first time that all regulated care offerings, with independent doctors that offer primary care online also set to be included.

The Government has said the ratings scheme will also be future-proofed in order to include services that may be developed in the coming years.

All services will then be in line with the NHS and patients will be able make informed choices when using independent healthcare services based on their quality and safety.

The CQC is yet to reveal how new services will be rated, although the body will be responsible for developing a suitable means of doing so.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the move will “guarantee safer and better care for patients” in the years ahead.

“These changes are a world first for patient safety, modernising our tough Ofsted-style inspection scheme so we keep pace with the changing landscape of healthcare, as well as helping tech-savvy patients to make informed decisions about their care,” he explained.

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the CQC, said the ratings help providers to improve their services while providing peace of mind to patients.

“Never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services,” he added.

Inspections of independent health service providers are already carried out by the CQC, but the ratings system will provide greater transparency over exactly what patients can expect from the services they use.

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