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CQC Calls For 'Intelligent Transparency'

The Chair Of The CQC Has Written About The Healthcare Regulator's Plans


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is looking to introduce what it refers to as intelligent transparency in a bid to improve healthcare standards at UK hospitals, while also allowing patients and their next of kin to make better informed choices about where they receive treatment.

Writing in the Guardian, chair of the CQC David Prior explained that intelligent transparency would mean providing the public with clear, easily-digestible information about the care they could be receiving, with inspection results set to be displayed in hospitals and doctors' surgeries.

He wrote: "It is a pity that politics makes it so difficult to discuss rationally the future of health and social care, especially when almost everyone agrees that the demands of current and future generations need to be met very differently from those of the past."

In light of this, Mr Prior said the CQC will be publishing a report next month on the state of care in the UK, outlining its own views on the issues facing the country's healthcare system.

However, the body believes that intelligent transparency could help to resolve many of these, while putting patients more in control of the care they receive. Mr Prior called the concept "a catalyst for change".

He added that there should be two main effects of this, writing: "First, it will empower the user both to ask questions and, where possible, to exercise choice."

For instance, when families are looking to choose care homes for loved ones, being able to see the results of the latest CQC inspection will allow them to make more of an informed choice as to which one they opt for.

Mr Prior continued: "The second effect of intelligent transparency, arguably of even more importance, especially in the NHS where there is little real choice, is that it will drive up quality standards."

Having to display inspection results publicly will encourage hospitals and GP surgeries to improve, while also providing patients and their families with reassurances regarding safety standards at the medical facilities where they are being cared for.

Expert Opinion
The new system proposed by the CQC would appear help to make the information available for people to make an informed choice when it comes to care options available to patients and their loved ones. The production of easy-to-understand information relating to care standards and the quality of a particular facility is integral to ensuring that people can make their own decisions on care.

“A lack of transparency in the past has resulted in serious failings within the NHS and care facilities going unreported and unresolved, putting patients at risk of further illness or injury.

“We see on a daily basis the devastating impact poor care standards and medical negligence can have on patients. We hope that increased transparency will lead to failings being identified, investigated and corrected, with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of care patients receive. Patient safety needs to be the number one priority.”
Julie Lewis, Partner

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