Hospitals, care homes and GPs could be judged against a new set of patient rights following a radical overhaul of standards announced by the healthcare provider regulator.
Doctors and nurses would be issued with new guidelines under proposals launched this week, which set out an “unambiguous baseline” for care.
The new charter of rights could see hospitals taken over by external experts, bosses dismissed and units closed if standards were continuously breached.
The plans - which must first go out to consultation - are set to be rolled out in hospitals before they are extended to adult social care and other sectors later in the year, the Care Quality Commission said.
The principles that will guide CQC’s work are set out in five questions that will be asked when inspecting services; are they safe, are they effective, are they caring, are they well-led and are they responsive to people’s needs?
Proposals in the consultation include expert inspection teams led by the new chief inspector Sir Mike Richards, a single rating for each hospital, a programme for failing hospitals, a clearer and more effective test to hold named directors to account for their legal commitments to deliver safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.
CQC chair David Prior said: “These changes mark a break from the past for the CQC. We have not been looking at the right things when we have inspected hospitals and we have not had the right level of clinical expertise to get under the skin of organisations.
“These proposals firmly put patients at the heart of what we do. It should mean that when someone goes into hospital they have confidence that the hospital is getting the basic aspects of care right – the kind of care we all have a right to expect. These standards were not met at Stafford hospital,” he said.
“Our inspectors will focus on things that are meaningful to people, not on bureaucratic processes. They will not tick boxes but miss the point,” Mr Prior added.
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