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CQC announces the end of Quality Star Ratings

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will work closely with the adult social care sector in developing a new system to replace quality ratings (star ratings) for registered services.

CQC Press Release

19th May 2010

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) today said it would work closely with the adult social care sector in developing a new system to replace quality ratings (star ratings) for registered services.The Commission said the current quality ratings system would cease ahead of the new registration system and new standards, which come into force on 1 October under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The Commission has already begun talks with stakeholders to discuss how a new system might work. It will also draw on feedback from the recent consultation on assessments of quality in 2010-11 and will launch a programme of work later this year to develop different options.

The Commission said that key inspections due to take place between now and September would be brought forward. By the end of June, CQC will have completed key inspections at all “poor”, ” adequate”, “good” and “excellent” services that have not been inspected for three years. Current ratings can be changed as a result of these inspections.Until 1 October, CQC will continue to conduct risk-based inspections when it receives information indicating concerns about safety and will continue to publish the inspection reports on its website. These may be key inspections, which could result in change to a rating, or a random inspection, which will not involve a rating change.CQC will also inspect services if it needs further information to assess applications to re-register under the new registration system.From 1 October, inspections will be conducted under the new model of regulation to assess compliance with the new essential standards of quality and safety. Findings from inspections will be published on CQC’s website.

Cynthia Bower, CQC’s chief executive, said: “From 1 October, we will have new standards and a new registration system, so it makes sense to develop a new way to compare quality across adult social care services. We want to work with the sector to develop a fair and transparent system. We are very open to different ideas and will be calling on people to tell us how they think it should work. Although the current quality rating system will stop, we will still be conducting inspections and publishing information about standards of care. Our biggest priority right now is introducing the new registration system that, for the first time, will bring NHS, independent healthcare and adult social care under the same system of regulation. This is a big task and we want to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. We are also committed to providing clear, useful and fair information about standards in adult social care services. This is extremely important for people making choices about services, as well as for councils that are commissioning services.”

CQC said it would work closely with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) at a national and regional level to provide it with information that informs decisions about commissioning.

CQC is also redeveloping its website to better present information about services that the public can use in making choices about their care. In the interim, current quality ratings will continue to be displayed on the website alongside historical inspection reports. The website will clearly display the date on which the quality rating was awarded.

May 2010