Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals

Prompted by the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal, urgent improvements will have to be incorporated by hospitals in case poor care is being delivered by any department, under new Ofsted-style ratings.

Official assessment will be provided to schools in England that will go further than Ofsted's single overall ranking. The `tough and rigorous' ratings will become `inadequate' to `outstanding'. These ratings will be based on inspections of every department of every hospital.

NHS care is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and it is of the view that due to the ratings, the standards of care will become better and patients will know what quality of care can they expect from particular hospital services.

Every department will be rated under CQC plans that are being unveiled on Monday, by the inspectors . They will also rate each hospital and hospital trust, as inadequate, requires improvement, good or outstanding. October will see the changes being implemented.

David Behan, the watchdog's chief executive, said, "It's going to be tougher and much more rigorous, and will be much clearer about when services are failing or inadequate. Revelations about abusive treatment of patients at the Winterbourne View hospital for people with learning disabilities had also influenced the ratings."