This impact assessment looks at the introduction of a single provider ratings system for adult social care, as provided for by the Care Bill. The policy objective is to improve patient choice and drive performance improvement of GP practices, acute trusts and care homes through the introduction of a single set of ratings. The intended effects are to give a single version of provider performance, increase accountability, improve ability for patients to exercise choice, allow commissioners to make better evidence-based decisions and make the comparative quality of services clear to providers.
Two policy options have been considered: the baseline option of doing nothing, which would not achieve the desired policy objective; and the preferred option of consolidating various provisions to enable the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to undertake ratings. This second option would require CQC to conduct a review, provide an assessment of the performance of the service providers and publish a report of its assessment. This is an enabling power and it will be for CQC to determine the exact methodology of the ratings and which indicators will be used. It is intended that the type of organisations to be rated will be set out in secondary legislation. In the first instance we expect this to include NHS-funded acute care, GP practices and care homes and domiciliary care agencies.
The other impact assessments accompanying the Care Bill cover: care and support legal reform; care and support funding reform; the universal deferred payment scheme; market oversight in care and support; the single failure regime; false or misleading information; Care Quality Commission loophole closure; Health Education England; and, the Health Research Authority.
The Care Bill is also accompanied by explanatory notes, a summary of the impact assessments and a series of sixteen factsheets.