New online care provider profiles will be launched to the public in April this year. People will be encouraged to use them to help narrow down their search for good quality, registered care that meets their needs and preferences. This information will be essential to people being able to make more informed, confident and personalised choices about care for themselves or family members.
Previously referred to as ‘provider quality profiles’, this information will give care providers an excellent opportunity to promote their care services, for free, on one of the most visited websites in the UK. NHS Choices currently receives over 19 million visits per month.
The launch of the profiles follows the Department of Health announcing, last July, that detailed information about every care provider registered with the Care Quality Commission would be listed on the NHS Choices website.
Every one of these providers already has its own space on NHS Choices – use this search to find your existing profile on the site. The information is extremely basic at the moment, but you can add, at no cost, a range of information to:
- give people a taster of what your organisation offers and of what makes you special
- show how your support could enhance someone’s life, and provide details about the services you offer – for example, whether you provide specialised care for dementia sufferers if you’re a residential care home, or whether you provide live-in care services if you’re a home-care provider
- show people how proud you are of your staff and why
- provide useful practical details on things such as visiting times and menu options.
Take a look at what St Cecilia’s care home in Scarborough has already done with its profile.
From April, the profiles will also include comments from users of services, their families and carers, which have either been left on NHS Choices or other feedback websites which meet strict moderation criteria. This will provide genuine customer feedback that can help people make decisions about their care.
What do care providers need to do now?
Please look out for further information that will follow later this month, which will include resources and advice to help you complete and make the most of your online profile.
We are finalising the provider profiles area of the NHS Choices website and accompanying guidance for providers now, and from 7 March the website will be ready for you to add your details. However if you would like to get started on your profile now you can:
- visit the ‘Your pages’ area of the NHS Choices website, which sets out further details about the profiles and of how you can easily request editing access
- or, email NHS Choices direct to request editing access: provide your full name, email address, job title, contact number and postcode for each care organisation profile you would like to manage.
- Important note: if your care service is part of a larger organisation or operates from several sites, please contact your head office in the first instance, before requesting editing access.
For further information about the online profiles and about why the Department of Health is making these provider profiles freely available to care providers and the public, please click here.