Abandonment of Star Ratings

Ridouts Law

On the 19 May 2010 CQC announced that the star ratings system would cease ahead ofthe new system of registration and the new standards that go with them which come into force on October 1 2010.

Although the system has been abolished, CQC do not yet know what will replace it.

The Commission have started consultation with stakeholders to discuss what a new system could look like and how it would work, however, it is believed that a new system will not be implemented until summer 2011 at the earliest.

Many service providers expressed concern at this decision amidst fears that they would be stuck with a rating for almost a year despite improvements at their service, however, CQC have clarified their position on interim measures.

CQC have confirmed that the designations of “poor” and “adequate” will be removed from the website for all providers.

This appears to be partial abandonment of the system as there is no mention of what will happen to “good” and “excellent” homes. Ridouts have contacted CQC for clarity on this issue but we are yet to receive a reply.

Past inspection reports will continue to be available on the website, however, it will be made clear that the reports are historical and the judgments made about each service were based on standards that are now obsolete.

Primary Care Trusts and Local Authority Commissioners have been made aware of these changes; however, it leaves many unanswered questions for providers of health and social care.

What will potential service users base their opinions on when looking for a new home? What incentive do homes have to make improvements over the next 6 months? How will a home whose standards are slipping be distinguished from the homes that are providing a good standard of care if there is no rating for up to a year?

Unfortunately, providers will be left in the dark until CQC decide on a new classification structure.


Disclaimer

The Ridouts Legal Bulletin is not intended as a substitute for seeking specific advice or as a statement of the law. If after reading this you identify that you may have a legal problem, please contact us for tailored advice.