New NHS ratings ‘good news’ for diabetes
A leading diabetes charity is backing new plans proposed by the Health Secretary which would see NHS services rated in a similar way to schools.
Jeremy Hunt wants people to be able to check how good healthcare is in their area for services such as diabetes, cancer and dementia.
Mr Hunt said introducing “Ofsted-style” ratings would drive up the quality of patient care.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This is really good news and a significant step forward for people with diabetes. We know healthcare for people with diabetes is often not good enough and varies from one area to another.
“This postcode lottery in diabetes healthcare means many people are suffering devastating health complications that could have been prevented and in some cases are dying earlier as a result.
“Crucially, this increase in transparency in how diabetes services are being delivered locally will mean the Department of Health is much better able to hold poor performing areas to account and so this announcement is the first step towards the kind of improvements to healthcare that can make a real difference to the lives of people with diabetes. We look forward to working with the Department of Health on making this happen.”
Under the new plans, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which manage local health budgets, will have their performance in key disease areas published by NHS England.
Initial ratings, based on the current CCG assessments, will be published in June 2016.
Mr Hunt said: “This government believes in the NHS and its values – and we’re investing an extra £10 billion to transform services during this Parliament. A key part of that transformation is building a more patient-focused culture.
“We’ve made progress in creating a stronger partnership between doctor and patient, but we still put too many obstacles in the way of doctors and nurses wanting to do the right thing.
“By being more transparent than ever before about crucial services and freeing up more time for GPs to care, we really can make NHS patients the most powerful in the world.”
Mr Hunt has also announced plans which will stop GPs having to rearrange hospital appointments for people.
The Department of Health says GPs’ time is wasted by referring people back to hospitals for outpatient appointments.