Setting clear standards of care and publishing ratings so that patients have a single version of the truth about how their hospitals are performing on finance, leadership and, most importantly, the quality of care
(PRWEB UK) 24 June 2013
In a bid to raise the standard of care within UK hospitals, it has been reported that an Ofsted-style rating system will be implemented in order to effectively address the issues surrounding poor patient care, allowing families to have more of an insight into their quality of treatment (1).
Prompted by the Mid-Staffordshire scandal, hospitals will be instructed to make critical and immediate improvements if any departments are seen to be providing substandard care under the new ratings system, as reported by a recent article in The Guardian (1).
In what has been described as a “tough and rigorous” rating system (1), it is thought to be more in depth than that of the usual Ofsted ranking which only covers “inadequate” to “outstanding” within its assessment, going forward to evaluate all departments within all hospitals across the UK (1).
Speaking on the proposed reforms, Asons Solicitors Executive Suzanne Yates said:
“In terms of transparency, I feel that this will go a great way in giving patients truthful and measurable information about the care that they themselves and their loved ones are being subjected to. This system is not only giving patients an indicator as to the care they can expect, but may also incentivise the hospital staff to do better in order to make sure their failings aren’t being aired for all to plainly see.”
According The Guardian, the body that regulates the NHS care; the Care Quality Commission (CQC), wants to implement the ratings system in a bid to improve standards of care and give patients and their families a better indication of the quality of treatment they can expect to receive from each individual hospital service (1).
Under the new plans governed by the CQC, inspectors will examine every hospital trust, hospital and department as either inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding according to The Guardian, expected to roll out as of October (1).
This change from the CQC’s previous monitoring system, which was widely condemned, was ordered to take place under the instruction of the health secretary Jeremy Hunt, after the Mid-Staffordshire report revealed that up to 1,200 patient died needlessly due to medical negligence between the years of 2005-2008 (1).
As quoted in The Guardian news report, Hunt said that major changes needed to be made within the NHS including:
"Setting clear standards of care and publishing ratings so that patients have a single version of the truth about how their hospitals are performing on finance, leadership and, most importantly, the quality of care" (1)
In a statement made by The Guardian, inspectors will be delegated to scrutinise whether or not the “care is safe, effective and compassionate, well-led and responsive to patient’s needs” and then be awarded a rating for each. Further on from this they will also be examined on whether or not staff in the hospitals have breached any of the 10 fundamental standards of care, as put forward by Sir Francis (1).
David Behan, the watchdog’s chief executive was quoted in The Guardian report as saying:
"It's going to be tougher and much more rigorous, and will be much more clear about when services are failing or inadequate,"
Revelations about abusive treatment of patients at the Winterbourne View hospital for people with learning disabilities had also influenced the ratings" (1)
The Guardian also reported that if an inspection leads to the discovery of care issues, the hospital concerned will be issued with a warning notice, giving them a period of time in which they must make adequate improvements (1).
NHS bosses seem to be unpersuaded by these proposed reforms however with 73% of NHS chief executives and chairs opposing the Ofsted- style ratings system (1).
Further commenting on the subject, Suzanne Yates continued to say:
“I can see why hospital bosses would be opposed to the system of ratings, as it would leave them no choice but to make improvements under the new legislation; with little or no additional funding to make this changes. Substandard care and medical negligence is becoming more and more of an issue under the NHS (2) and this system could give patients back some of their peace of mind by being able to not only see where a hospital is excelling or failing, but by knowing that there is a body ensuring that safety failings will be dealt with.”
Anyone that has been subjected to substandard care by a medical professional may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim. To find out more information on medical negligence or to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor, visit http://www.asons.co.uk or phone 01204 521 133.
(1) The Guardian, Hospitals to be given Ofsted-style ratings, Monday 17th June 2013,
(1) Politics.co.uk, Medical Negligence and Compensation, 2012
About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.
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