New ‘Ofsted-style’ ratings will be introduced next year to highlight how local areas are performing in key clinical areas health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.
The new ratings will aim to show how each clinical commissioning group (CCG) is performing in conditions such as cancer, mental health, diabetes and dementia. They will be based on local data as well as expert feedback in each clinical area.
The Department of Health said ‘that by giving patients access to performance data, healthcare services in local towns and cities will be much more accountable to their local population than previously’.
Mr Hunt said £10billion would be invested to tranform services and that ‘the transformation is building a more patient-focused culture’.
As well as providing more local data, the service change will introduce ways that GP practices and hospitals can work more efficiently together. This includes wider use of primary care staff, better use of technology and stopping referrals from hospitals back to GP surgeries. It was estimated that this could lead to a 5% increase in workforce capacity, equivalent to 15 million appointments a year.
Dr Maureen Baker, the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners said: ‘We welcome the promise of more investment to make the NHS more focussed on patients - the next step to achieving this is to ensure that this money is targeted towards general practice and that we have a workforce fit to deliver it.’