CQC to assess independent doctors and digital GP apps

Under new guidelines, all healthcare organisations in England that offer regulated care will be rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including independent doctors and digital GP apps.

The CQC said the measure would help patients identify and assess safety standards.

The current ratings programme covers hospital care, social care and GPs. It is believed that the proposed scheme could extend to include more than 800 additional providers, including those working in the digital space – a relatively uncharted area of the healthcare sector.

The providers affected will be required to publically display their rating via their website of business premises.

According to the report, the changes will bring the services in line with the rest of the NHS and reassure patients who use digital GP apps provided by independent doctors about the quality and safety of the service they are choosing.

Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve. Never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.

“CQC already inspects and publishes reports for these additional services. The ability to award ratings to them will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of their healthcare.”