A new framework to regulate health and social care services has been announced by the Department of Health today.
The announcement comes in the week that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) officially takes charge of regulating health and social care services.
From 1 April, the CQC will replace the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Mental Health Act Commission.
All health and social care providers will be required to register with the CQC and provide minimum standards of safety and care quality.
As well as hospitals, 8,500 GP practices and 9,000 dental practices will be required to register, regardless of whether they provide private or NHS services, or both.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the registration system for GP and dental practices will be introduced from 2011/2012.
Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘The way that health and adult social care services are being delivered is changing. The same person may well receive care from both health and social care providers in a range of settings including at their GP surgery, community or residential settings, hospital or from a range of public or independent providers.
‘This is the first time that one single registration framework will ensure that the health and adult social care services people receive will be safe and of a high quality regardless of which organisation is providing it.’
NHS organisations will have to register with the CQC to declare they comply with minimum standards against healthcare associated infections from 1 April.
For the full government response to a consultation on the framework, which ended in March, visit the Department of Health website.