Ofsted style ratings are to be given to each area of the country for performance in a range of clinical areas including cancer, dementia and mental health, Jeremy Hunt will announce today .
The health secretary will outline plans to develop new ratings for each clinical commissioning group patch at Health Service Journal’s annual lecture. Areas to be covered will also include diabetes, learning disabilities and maternity.
“We really can make NHS patients the most powerful in the world”
The theme of Mr Hunt’s lecture will be patient empowerment. The health secretary’s plans will see each CCG receive, for each clinical area, a headline rating such as “outstanding”, “good”, “requires improvement” or “inadequate”. These will be based on data and “verified by experts” in each field.
Experts for each clinical area will be taking a view on every CCG’s rating. They will include the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar, and the government’s mental health taskforce chair Paul Farmer.
The Department of Health said initial ratings will be published in June. NHS England’s existing assurance regime for CCGs for 2015-16, agreed earlier this year, is already due to produce single ratings for each group on a similar timetable.
At the lecture, the health secretary will also detail new measures to stop “pointless” referrals from hospitals back to GPs, and introducing a single payment system to simplify the payment of GP practices, which it said would save them time, and making GP surgeries paperless by 2018.
Mr Hunt will announce plans to incorporate a named accountable clinician for every patient into planning guidance from next year, taking forward the recommendations from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
“This is really good news and a significant step forward for people with diabetes”
He will also refer to NHS England’s plans to increase the choice in maternity, end of life care and the roll-out of personal budgets.
Mr Hunt has commissioned American professor Bob Wachter to do a review on lessons the NHS needs to learn to move into a digital future.
Mr Hunt will say: “This government believes in the NHS and its values and we’re investing an extra £10bn to transform services during this parliament. A key part of that transformation is building a more patient focused culture.
“We’ve made progress in creating a stronger partnership between doctor and patient, but we still put too many obstacles in the way of doctors and nurses wanting to do the right thing,” he will say.
“By being more transparent than ever before about crucial services and freeing up more time for GPs to care, we really can make NHS patients the most powerful in the world,” he will add.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This is really good news and a significant step forward for people with diabetes.”
“Jeremy Hunt can’t claim to be giving patients greater power when on his watch patients are finding it harder to access the NHS”
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society agreed, saying: “This move towards greater transparency is good news as it should help drive needed improvements in dementia care.”
But Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “Jeremy Hunt can’t claim to be giving patients greater power when on his watch patients are finding it harder to access the NHS.
“The Tories have pushed up waiting lists, plunged hospitals in to financial crisis and left patients struggling to get GP appointments,” he said. “The uncomfortable truth for Jeremy Hunt is that his policies are failing patients, and failing the NHS.”
Mr Hunt will give the HSJ annual lecture, held in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting, at 5.30pm today in London to an invited audience of healthcare leaders.
It is the second of the annual lectures run by Nursing Times’ sister title HSJ, the last was given by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens last year.