A recent press release from the Department of Health has confirmed that it has given the Care Quality Commission (CQC) the power to rate an extended variety of healthcare services.
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The CQC already rates NHS and independent hospitals, GPs and adult social care services but it will now also be able to review independent doctors and community services which offer medical advice and prescriptions online.  Following an expert-led inspection, the facilities are rated as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

The extended rating system aims to become the default way that the regulator presents the results of its inspections, and means prospective patients will have clear, accessible and independent information about their healthcare services.  The decision has been made following an extensive consultation which began last year.

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, 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 additional services and so, the ability to award ratings to them will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of their healthcare. We look forward to taking this work forward in the New Year.”

It is not yet clear how this will be approached, but the CQC intends to carry out another consultation on this shortly.  In the meantime, they will continue to inspect these services and publish their findings.

You can read the full story at www.cqc.org.uk