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01.12.17

Hunt: Correlation between CQC rating and finances needs to be understood by DH

There is a clear correlation between trust CQC ratings and their finances, Jeremy Hunt has stated this week.

Speaking at the King’s Fund Annual Conference yesterday, the health secretary explained the observed relationship between trust finances and CQC ratings.

Hospitals that have received ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ ratings are in surplus, and those with a ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ rating, on average, are in deficit.

Hunt explained: “The correlation is stronger than that, because actually the ‘outstanding’ trusts have a higher surplus than the ‘good’ trusts, and the ‘inadequate’ trusts have a higher deficit than the ‘requires improvement’ trusts.”

He added that, currently, the Department of Health is still trying to understand the relationship between CQC ratings and trust finances.

Compared to other developed countries, NHS providers get the same amount of funding, Hunt argued. 

Whilst there may be some local variation he said that providers get “broadly the NHS tariff for both emergency and elective care.

“It’s a fairly uniform system,” he added.

“We know that money matters when it comes to quality - if you don’t have enough nurses on a ward you have to put more nurses there and that costs money, so no one is pretending that money isn’t important for basic levels of safety, but our working assumption is that poor quality care is about the most expensive care in the country,” Hunt said.

He cited preventable falls or grade four pressure ulcers as examples of incidents which prolong hospital stay, taking up a bed for other admissions into the ED, which can be costly for trusts.

On the other hand, trusts who deliver higher standards of care will end up in a “virtuous circle” of healthier finances, meaning more money to invest, he continued.

Helping trusts to progress from lower CQC ratings to higher ones must be an “absolute priority for those of us who want the NHS to deliver the higher standards of care,” the health secretary concluded.

Top image: Neil Hall and PA Wire

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Comments

Dr Richard Davis   05/12/2017 at 10:51

Qualitative research should be able to contribute to understanding this relationship

Add your comment

 

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