Guidelines regulating the safety and quality of health and social care services are to be published by the UK Government, to establish tighter controls over NHS and private services across the country.

The proposals are to come into effect ahead of the establishment of the Care Quality Commission next year.
The move means that all 8,500 GP practices and 9,000 high street dental practices will be required to register with the commission, regardless of whether they provide solely private or NHS services, or a mix of both.

The commission will register all providers of health and adult social care services against a single set of registration requirements that are focused on the safety and quality of care, the Department of Health said.

“This is the first time that one single registration framework will ensure that the health and adult social care services people receive will be safe and of a high quality regardless of which organisation is providing it,” said the Health Minister Ben Bradshaw.

The registration requirements will replace the core Standards for Better Health, which apply to the NHS, and the National Minimum Standards and Regulations, which apply to social care and independent sector health providers.

Where healthcare and adult social care is concerned, the Care Quality Commission’s responsibilities will include registering care providers and keeping the Mental Health Act under review.