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Hunt calls for tougher care home checks

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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for a new system of rating care homes and hospitals, based on the way in which Ofsted rates schools.

Mr Hunt said he was concerned that, as an MP, he could read detailed reports on the quality of the schools in his constituency – but could not do the same for care homes and hospitals because the inspectorate, the Care Quality Commission, only assessed whether minimum standards had been met.

By contrast, Ofsted’s reports say whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘needs improvement’ or is ‘inadequate’.

He said: “I am not advocating a return to the old ‘star ratings’ – but the principle that there should be an easy to understand, independent and expert assessment of how well somewhere is doing must be right.”

Mr Hunt has asked for an independent review to look at ways the system could be set up without creating extra bureaucracy.

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