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CQC given powers to rate more providers

Author: Martin Hodgson

The Care Quality Commission is to be granted new powers to enable its inspectors to assign quality ratings for independent healthcare providers. The CQC ratings will be published to help the general public in obtaining as much information as possible about a provider before they use their services.

The Department of Health has confirmed that the new powers will cover quality ratings for services such as:

  • cosmetic surgery services (some types)
  • independent ambulance services
  • independent dialysis services
  • refractive eye surgery services
  • substance misuse services
  • termination of pregnancy services.

The rating categories will be the same as those presently applied to NHS and independent hospitals, general practices and adult social care services, with ratings of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

The move follows the launch of a consultation into expanding the ratings system still further to cover independent community health services and independent doctors.

CQC powers: healthcare provider checking records on her iPad

Announcing the new powers and the consultation, Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the CQC, said:

“CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve – never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.

“CQC already inspects and publishes reports for these providers and the ability to award a rating will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of these services.

“We also welcome the Government’s longer term proposals to extend our ability to award ratings to even more services and we look forward to the outcome of the consultation they have launched today.”

Details of the latest CQC consultation about extending the ratings systems to cover independent community health services can be found by clicking here. This consultation will run through to November 2017. Further details of the inspection regimes for these services will be developed following a fresh consultation in the New Year.

About the author:

Martin Hodgson MSc, PGCEA is a community psychiatric nurse by background, and has had a long career working as a senior manager in various health agencies, including mental health, primary and community care.

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