Seal Of Approval To Improve Health, Social Care

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The Department of Health has gone out to tender to find an independent operator for its new scheme to provide a seal of approval ensuring health and social care information is reliable.

The new national scheme will provide a "seal of approval" that will assure people the information they use when making choices about their health and care comes from a reliable source. The scheme will have a broad impact, allowing the quality mark to feature on information in any format - from websites to pamphlets.

Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Services said:- "Ensuring that patients have access to reliable information is paramount in maintaining patient choice and quality of care. This scheme and the quality mark will help reassure people that health information available to them is trustworthy."

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This scheme is also in line with Lord Darzi's Next Stage Review, which seeks to 'empower patients with greater choice, better information, and more control and influence.'

Working with United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), the successful supplier will deliver a robust and credible scheme. Jane Beaumont, Director of Accreditation at UKAS said: "We are delighted to be working with the Department of Health to take forward this ground-breaking scheme for health and social care information.

"Our position as the government-recognised UK accreditation body enables us to contribute a wealth of expertise to deliver a robust scheme that helps provide reassurance to the public."

The scheme will be launched in Summer 2009.

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