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Politics – Abortion clinics rated

February 2018

Abortion clinics are to be forced to display official ratings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), after the Department for Health (DoH) toughened up its inspection scheme.

According to the BBC, under plans revealed by health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt, the DoH is ‘modernising our tough, Ofsted-style inspection scheme’ to make sure patient safety is put first.

As part of these proposals, all healthcare organisations in England offering regulated care are now going to be rated by the commission, and marks will have to be available.

The CQC already inspects NHS and independent hospitals, general practices and adult social care services, and then rates them in one of four categories: outstanding, good, requires improvement, and inadequate.

The commission also inspects other healthcare organisations and, under the extension of its programme, it will now be able to allocate them a rating. A spokesman told the BBC the CQC hoped the first ratings would appear towards the end of 2018.

Sir David Behan, CQC chief executive, said: ‘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, and so the ability to award ratings to them will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of their healthcare’.

Last year, severe failings were revealed at Marie Stopes abortion clinics by the CQC after an investigation. As reported in Evangelical Times, the CQC imposed sanctions on Marie Stopes in August, after the inspectors ‘identified a number of serious concerns, which were recognised in its temporary suspension of specific types of termination’.