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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a medical professional at computer cbJanuary 4 2018

The Care Quality Commission will be required to inspect healthcare services, such as those that offer medical advice and prescriptions from GPs online. Confirmation of the intention to extend the powers by the Department of Health means that “for the first time, all healthcare organisations in England that offer regulated care will be rated by the CQC.”

It means an additional 800 providers will be inspected and rated, alongside the hospitals and GP services currently inspected by the CQC. There are currently more than 30 providers in England that registered with CQC and offer primary care online or digitally.

“Examples of ‘independent doctors’ services include providers that offer healthcare (such as medical advice and prescriptions from a GP) online or digitally,” said the CQC. “Other examples of ‘independent doctors’ services include vaccination clinics, family planning clinics, slimming clinics and private GP surgeries (including walk-in centres) that do not have NHS contracts.”

In September 2017, the Department confirmed that it would broaden the CQC’s powers to include independent healthcare providers of cosmetic surgery, substance misuse and termination of pregnancy clinics. This latest announcement is the outcome of a further consultation and means that the award of a rating for a regulated service is set to become the default way that the regulator presents the judgements for all of its inspections.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We are planning ahead to guarantee safer and better care for patients in the years to come. These changes are a world first for patient safety, modernising our tough Ofsted-style inspection scheme so we keep pace with the changing landscape of healthcare, as well as helping tech-savvy patients to make informed decisions about their care.”

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, added: “CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve. Never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.”

The CQC will now develop an approach for how it will rate these additional services and launch a public consultation on this topic shortly.

Links:
Department of Health announcement     
CQC announcement        

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