The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has outlined new plans for a ratings system for local NHS services including dementia, diabetes, cancer, and mental health.
The new ratings will be broken down by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and will be based on local data as well as being verified by experts in each field. The measures will mean that for the first time patients in England will be able to see how their local health service is performing with the aim to drive improvements.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Hunt said: “If you’ve got a relative who’s got dementia, one of the things you’d like to know is how good are dementia services in your area. We will become the first country anywhere in the world which actually says – for any part of the country – how good are dementia services, how good are maternity services. What we found, when we introduced Ofsted ratings for hospitals, we saw dramatic improvements in the quality of care.”
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “This move towards greater transparency is good news as it should help drive needed improvements in dementia care. We know that the quality and provision of healthcare is inconsistent across the country for people with dementia and their families. Delays in receiving a diagnosis and the right support can have huge implications for those affected. There remain hundreds of thousands without a diagnosis, and far too many waiting for an initial assessment at a memory clinic or not receiving adequate post-diagnosis support.
“Our Right to Know campaign has been calling for local dementia health services to be assessed on quality and performance – and we’re delighted that the voices of people with dementia have been heard. We look forward to working with the Department of Health and supporting CCGs in improving their health services.”