The public can now monitor how their primary care trust and other local public services are performing against priority areas for improvement using one website.
The Oneplace website, which holds the results of the comprehensive area assessment, was jointly launched today by the six independent public service inspectorates, including the Care Quality Commission.
You’ll see some really, really good examples of very innovative partnerships
The website is intended to paint a picture of the standard of public services in a specific community, using a series of red and green flags to identify progress against locally identified priorities.
For example, CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower highlighted services in Hackney as having a “green flag” for their innovative joint strategic work in bringing down infant mortality rates, while Lancashire has a “red flag” for its failure to deal with the same problem.
The website is primarily aimed at patients and was described by Audit Commission managing director for local government, housing and community safety Gareth Davies as a “powerful new tool for accountability”.
However, Ms Bower said PCT commissioners would be able to learn from areas with the same priorities as them. She said: “I absolutely think there’s things in there for PCTs.
“I think PCTs more than ever before have developed strategic partnerships and have been focusing on joint working. There’s lots more evidence of pooled budgets and joint commissioning than we’ve seen before. What you will be able to see from Oneplace is really excellent examples,” Ms Bower said.
She added: “You’ll see some really, really good examples of very innovative partnerships, not just with local authorities, but as with Hackney, where you’ve got a tertiary education provider and you’ve got the voluntary sector.”
Ms Bower also defended the inspection model used by the regulator as “robust” following criticism after recent revelations about Basildon Hospital. She said: “I think our service inspection model is a very good one.”
The government commissioned the main public sector inspectorates to develop the comprehensive area assessment in April 2007 as a new, joint way of assessing local public services in England.