CQC-Style Ratings to Hold Matt Hancock to Account

Nicky Broyd

August 05, 2020

In a move many health professionals may only previously have dreamt of the performance of Government health ministers in England is to be rated.

The ratings from an independent evaluation system will be similar to those issued to NHS organisations by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the findings will go to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee which is chaired by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The first pilot assessment will hold ministers to account over progress made against targets in maternity services.

The process starts with England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock and/or any other relevant government body, outlining the policy commitments that have been made.

An expert panel will be formed to assess progress. It will be chaired by Professor Dame Jane Dacre from University College London.

The assessment will include a "realist review".

Any findings will be used to complement the Committee's ongoing inquiries.

'Inadequate', 'Requires Improvement'

The Committee reports: "Where the panel reaches the judgement that the Government’s performance against its commitments in a particular area is 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement', we expect the publication of that judgement to galvanise the Department and its arm’s-length bodies to action to ensure improvement. We will expect to return to the same topic area and repeat the independent evaluation exercise after an appropriate period, to see whether improvements have been made."

In a statement, Jeremy Hunt said: "We are piloting a new CQC-style ratings system to provide an expert independent assessment of the Government’s record on key pledges. This will mean the government is held to account by an evaluation process similar to that used across the NHS and social care system which gives not just an absolute score but key pointers as to how to improve that score next time round. 

"We hope it will focus attention on areas such as cancer, mental health, and patient safety where a number of vital commitments have been made."

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