Magazine article Public Finance

Star Ratings 'Still Relevant' to NHS Trusts

Magazine article Public Finance

Star Ratings 'Still Relevant' to NHS Trusts

Article excerpt

The Healthcare Commission has hit out at suggestions that the final set of star ratings will be ignored by NHS trusts.

After this year, star ratings will be replaced by a new set of health checks, which rely heavily on self evaluation.

For the first time, patients and public representatives will be given a formal role in assessing trusts, though the commission will continue to rate trusts on a four-point scale. The first set of health checks is due in September 2006.

Some NHS commentators believe the changes have discredited this year's star ratings. Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, told the BBC: 'Star ratings have had their day. This year we will have star ratings without them being taken too seriously.'

But a commission spokesman insisted: 'Star ratings are just as relevant to the NHS and patients and the public as they were in previous years and are an important means of holding the NHS to account. …

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