General practices could be subject to “Ofsted style” ratings within two years

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 22 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1941
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

A new rating system to assess NHS services in England, akin to the school rating system used by Ofsted, the official body that inspects schools, could be rolled out to general practices in less than two years. However, it may need a longer development period before being extended to hospitals, experts have concluded.

Last year the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, commissioned the health policy think tank the Nuffield Trust to conduct an independent review to assess the feasibility of proposals to reintroduce a simple ratings system for NHS services.1 The review identified a “clear gap” in the availability of information to patients that could properly inform them about the quality of care and improve the accountability of providers.

But it said that ministers should ensure that a range of measures were taken before they pressed ahead with plans, including assessing how and when services could adopt the new system and evaluating the costs and benefits …

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