Jeremy’s About To Rate All Our Hospitals

National Health ServiceSo, Jeremy Hunt, usually universally unpopular for this healthcare policies (which kinda sucks, with him having the job as health secretary), has announced his latest idea for the NHS.

Thankfully, it’s not another top-down re-organisation – I think even he realised that the last one wasn’t that great in the end and I’m pretty sure Cameron will have jumped down his throat a few times over it (“Jeremy, if I have to defend your stupid….”).

Jeremy is now going to improve our hospitals by…..

Giving them more money!

Leaving them alone

Hiring more staff

Rating them!

Yes, as, you see, Jeremy explained to us this morning on BBC Breakfast why the National Health Service is failing – and that’s because they’re not getting an Ofsted style inspection.  Apparently, by rating individual services on a scale of ‘Outstanding’ to ‘Crap’ (ok, ‘Needs Improvement’) it will encourage poor hospitals to raise their standards – sort of like a ‘naming and shaming’ to get them to improve.

And apparently, this is precisely what the public want.  If you have a breakdown, maybe due to being thrown into abject poverty after the withdrawal of your tax credits, Jeremy wants you to be able to Google local hospitals and see how well the mental health care is rated in your area.

Good idea?  Bad idea?  Well, I’m totally for anything that improves the NHS and the service it provides to its patients.  But this feels like an exercise of more bureaucracy and red tape – I mean the CQC and various other bodies inspect hospitals and public healthcare settings – this sounds like it’s going to be an additional inspection and report rather than replacing any of the current ones.

It’s definitely accepted that keeping an eye on standards is a good thing but is this really going to improve the NHS like Jeremy Hunt would have us think – or is it going to see hard working NHS staff further demoralised and yet another full frontal attack from the Conservative government?