Legal requirement to display CQC ratings

The Department of Health has  published a public consultationthis month titled ‘Display of performance assessments’which outlines its proposal to place a legal requirement on registered providers to display the rating published by the CQC.

The rationale behind the proposal is that while the new rating system is intended to provide a reliable assessment of a provider’s performance and be easy for people to see and understand, they will be of limited use if people who use services are not able to see them.   Although ratings will be published on CQC’s website, not everyone researches the performance of services online.  Therefore providers will be expected to be upfront about the ratings their services have been afforded through the imposition of a clear legal requirement. The consultation states “For providers the transparency of the ratings should be a motivation to continue to improve the quality of care.  Requiring all providers to prominently display their ratings is a simple and effective manner to ensure that people who use services, are informed of the quality of the health and social care services.”

The proposed requirements include:

  • Providers must display the results of a performance assessment undertaken by CQC under section 26 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (“Act”).
  • The provider is required to display the result of the assessment in a conspicuous place in every location where services are provided for which the assessment applies e.g. at the main hospital entrance, in the GP waiting room, in the foyer of the care home.
  • Where a provider operates out of multiple locations and a performance assessment is provided for each location, then each location must display the assessment which applies to it.
  • A provider is required to display the results of a performance assessment once they receive the final report.

The consultation also suggests that providers be subject to a penalty for not displaying the rating and in addition CQC should be able to issue a £100 penalty notice in lieu of prosecution.

CQC will begin formally rating services from October 2014.  However, the consultation states that the requirement is not expected to come into force until April 2015 (in line with the new CQC regulations imposing the fundamental standards for regulated providers of health and adult social care.)  It is proposed that the requirement will be made under section 20 of the Act and included as part of the CQC Registration Regulations 2009.

The consultation will run for four weeks, closing on 13 October 2014, and can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transparency-in-care-visible-ratings-for-health-and-care-providers

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