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Safety Reassurances As Hospitals Set To Display Inspection Results

Hospitals To Display CQC Inspection Ratings Or Face Penalties


The Department of Health is set to introduce new measures that will see hospitals and GP surgeries in the UK having to publicly display the results of their latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is bringing in these rules to provide greater reassurance to patients that the care they are receiving is of a good standard, but also to make sure they are aware of any failings relating to their local medical facility.

In a document entitled 'Display of Performance Assessment', the government has outlined its plans, detailing that hospitals and doctors' surgeries will have to show their ratings, or face a significant penalty.

Mr Hunt explained that he believed "putting the scores on the doors" would help to "inform people's choices".

The Department of Health is proposing that these measures are made a legal requirement as part of both the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the CQC Registrations Regulations 2009.

The government report states: "We expect providers to consider where displaying the rating at a premises will be visible to the most people and if necessary, check with the people who use their services as to whether they were aware of the rating being displayed.

"For example, at a minimum, a GP surgery should have the rating clearly displayed at reception, or in the waiting room, or at the main entrance of the surgery."

It adds that the penalty for failing to do this could be up to two fines of £500, while the CQC will be able to issue penalty notices of £100 in place of prosecution.

This should not be a problem for those that have achieved a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating from the CQC, but it may be more of an issue for medical facilities that have been rated as 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement'.

However, having to display this fact may help to encourage fast improvement for those that the CQC has deemed to need it.

Expert Opinion
All too often we see the consequences of safety failings at GP surgeries. Therefore, we would welcome the introduction of this new system, as it will ensure patients are better informed about the quality of care standards in their local area, while also ensuring any failures and errors are identified and resolved immediately.

“Patient care should always be a top priority and it is vital those surgeries with ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ ratings make the necessary improvements to the standard of care they provide to ensure the safety of patients is protected.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner

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