GPs forced to discuss hospital CQC ratings and waiting times during referral

GPs will have to discuss hospitals' CQC ratings and waiting times with all patients they refer for secondary care treatment from next year, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Jeremy Hunt: patients will have 'truly informed choice' (Photo: Pete Hill)
Jeremy Hunt: patients will have 'truly informed choice' (Photo: Pete Hill)

Speaking at the King's Fund think tank in central London, Mr Hunt said discussing CQC ratings and waiting times was vital to allow patients to make 'a truly informed choice' about their healthcare.

The health secretary also spelled out plans to move the vast majority of hospital doctors onto seven-day contracts by the end of the current parliament under the government's drive to move to a seven-day health service, warning he would not allow the BMA to 'be a roadblock to reforms that will save lives'.

GP referrals

Mr Hunt told the King's Fund event: 'From next year as part of the new electronic booking service, which has replaced Choose and Book, all GPs will be asked to tell patients not just which hospitals they can be referred to, but the relevant CQC rating and waiting time as well.

'Because those ratings now include patient experience, safety and quality of care, patients will for the first time be able to make a truly informed choice about which local service is best for them. Patients also need to be able to make a meaningful choice about which GP surgery is most appropriate for their needs.

'Right now that is not always possible because practices get full and there is a lack of capacity. We will address this through our new deal for general practice which will boost GP provision in under-doctored areas, with NHS England giving particular attention to making sure that there are alternatives available when a practice has been rated ‘inadequate.’

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