Abortion clinics will have to display official rating from Care Quality Commission

Alexandra Richards
The new services will be required to publicise their CQC ratings: PA

Abortion clinics will have to publicly display an official rating from the Care Quality Commission.

The Department of Health is extending the CQC’s current rating system to include a new group of health services.

All healthcare organisations in England offering regulated care will now be rated by the commission and awarded marks which they will have to display on their websites or on their premises.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "These changes are a world first for patient safety, modernising our tough Ofsted-style inspection scheme so we keep pace with the changing landscape of healthcare, as well as helping tech savvy patients to make informed decisions about their care.”‎

CQC already rates NHS and independent hospitals, general practices and adult social care services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

It does this by carrying out inspections by experts based around what matters most to people who use services – whether they are safe, caring, effective, responsive to their needs and well-led.

Under the new broader powers, which were initially confirmed in September 2017, the CQC will be able to inspect independent health care providers such as cosmetic surgery, substance misuse and termination of pregnancy clinics.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health announced that the CQC will also be able to rate the independent organisations.

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “CQC already inspects and publishes reports for these additional services and so, the ability to award ratings to them will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of their healthcare.”

The CQC will require the healthcare providers to display their rating in a public space such as on their website or on its premises allowing people to make an informed decision on which services they use.

Services which will not be included in the rating process include: primary dental care, national screening services and blood and transplant services.

These services have been excluded as they are already rated by another regulatory body or pose a relatively low risk with fewer inspections.

The CQC said that it will launch a public consultation in order to work out how it will rate the new services in early 2018.

Mr Behan said: “CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve. Never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.”