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Hunt promises new 'Ofsted style ratings' for clinical areas


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”

Jeremy Hunt

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”

Chris Askew

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”

Justin Madders

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.


Readers' comments (9)

  • The NHS is being discredited (like a witness in the box) so when sentence is pronounced the general consensus will be.... 'it' or 'they' had it coming....'privatisation is the only cure !!' they will cry... and then Jeremy Hunt can sell (the profitable bits) to his mates (SERCO G4S etc.) for a steal....

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  • Well, see the affect Ofsted's had on schools, it's got to be good hasn't it? Teachers leave in droves, stressed to the hilt, no improvement in kids education... bring it on Jeremy. By the way, workers, we need to keep on talking about Jeremy.

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  • I'm hope for a few (very many) bi-elections, then repeated vote-downs in the Lords, then the usual Conservative Party deposing of the leader when they think they are a liability (and Osbourne in unelectable, so they can forget him), then, er, perhaps an early election because there is a wild scream of no confidence.

    Until then, they are relentless, merciless, pedants. It's a shame they went into coalition as they were made to look better than was real. I'm so tired. It's not even a year gone since the election.

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  • “The uncomfortable truth for Jeremy Hunt is that his policies are failing patients, and failing the NHS.”.....
    He's now attempting to discredit the Doctors...they have been through everyone else...Teachers, Firemen, Policemen, Council Employees, Nurses...
    In the spirit of OFSED it's red ink on Master Hunts 'school' report and a massive 'see me'...noticed Andrew Lansbury sitting in the House of that the Tory 'naughty stair'......?

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  • Anonymous | 29-Oct-2015 4:35 pm

    And your evidence for your allegations is where? Or are you just another parrot who believes any titbits of information thrown at you?

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  • Thank you for your reply
    Anonymous | 30-Oct-2015 9:18 am

    I can assure you that sections of the NHS are already in the hands of the private sector...and as the NHS struggles for finances it will be forced to contract out (more) services to organisations such as those I mentioned...
    It's not an 'allegation' but an observation of what I see and hear...with an obvious conclusion...
    Believe what you like really...but take a close look at who may be providing some of your healthcare...e.g. Out of Hours Services, Primary Healthcare & Walk in Services, Prison Healthcare...

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  • Anon 31st oct 12.32 pm

    Thanks for yours too. It looks as you need to have a closer look at the contracts as tendering services out to private companies by the nhs does not necessarily mean privatisation.

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  • Hospitals were always, inspected, when I used to work in your profession. At what point in time did that get dispensed with, may I ask?
    Secondly, any form of 'Ofsted' assessment outcomes, can be 'fiddled', because, nursing departments would get 'the nod' as to the date when the inspectors were due to call in, and low and behold,everyone and everything would be working 'efficiently' to meet the criteria. History shows that this can happen in almost at every assessment, and I can only envisage the practice will continues as before.
    Needless to say, nothing will change, Ooh! I hate myself for saying that, because my old colleagues used to utter the same to me when I was starting out in nursing in 1966. I didn't believe them then...but I do now!

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  • Someone please explain how this differs from CQC ratings? (genuine question)

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