UK Nursing
RCN welcomes new health service checks unveiled by the Healthcare Commission
Apr 1, 2005 - 5:11:38 PM

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) welcomes the new system for assessing public and private health services in England, unveiled today by the Healthcare Commission.

The RCN is particularly pleased to see a substantial emphasis on involving patient and public representatives in assessing services, ensuring that health service users will have a real voice in judging the quality of services.

The RCN also warmly welcomes the Healthcare Commission's emphasis on continuous improvement and on reducing the regulatory burden by using existing data where possible.

Howard Catton, RCN Head of Policy Development and Implementation, said:"There is much to welcome in the new system of health assessment outlined today. But the RCN still believes that more work needs to be undertaken to improve the scoring system announced by the Commission. The RCN is concerned that an overall aggregate score doesn't fully reflect the varied and complex services that a hospital provides, some of which will be excellent, even though the aggregate score may be mediocre or low. The experience of the star rating system has also shown us that staff who have been delivering excellent care in poorly rated trusts, struggle with morale. Instead, the RCN believes a balanced score card or dashboard approach is preferable."

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