CQC’s publication ‘A fresh start for the regulation and inspection of adult social care’, released earlier this year, introduces the use of online quality profiles for organisations offering care services.
Commenting on the development of a new rating system, the publication states that one of the possible characteristics of an outstanding rating might include “information about the quality and safety of the service is shared openly and transparently with people who use the service, including through online quality profiles on NHS Choices and other websites.”
In response to ‘A Fresh Start’, NHS Choices has set up a resource whereby providers can submit information about their services including information on facilities, special services and quality and standards. The resource was previously on offer for NHS service providers in England but has since been extended to include organisations offering nursing and residential care, home care, Shared Lives and supported living. Each of these types of services now have self-editable profiles on the NHS Choices website.
The CQC has already provided the basic contact details for each of the relevant organisations it regulates and these can be found by using the search function on the NHS Choices website. Providers need to be aware that they are able to request their own login and password enabling them to take responsibility for including further information on their own services.
Included within these profiles is the opportunity for members of the public to submit reviews of individual services. The review section allows them to give a 1-5 star rating of how likely they are to recommend the care provider to friends and family requiring similar care and treatment. There is also the option to provide a more detailed note of their views of the service.
The resource presents an opportunity for care providers to promote their services. Providers should take advantage of the opportunity to include detailed information about their services on the NHS Choices website.