Are You Ready for 'Ofsted'?

In order to address what he describes as a ‘crisis in care’, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is to propose a new ratings system for hospitals and care homes similar to the Ofsted system that rates schools. Since the previous system, which awarded up to three stars to reflect the quality of service, was abandoned in 2010, providers have had only to meet Care Quality Commission-set minimum standards. Critics have suggested that such a system does little to promote improvements.

A study by think-tank the Nuffield Trust will consider the newly proposed ratings system and publish its recommendations in March 2013. Trust Director, Jennifer Dixon, agreed that: ‘It’s a sensible question to ask about how the quality of care is assessed in health and social care providers, given all the systems currently in place to boost and monitor quality for the public… We look forward to doing an independent analysis of this issue working with a range of groups across the health and social care world in the UK, learning from past experience, from other sectors and from other countries.’

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