The King’s Fund chief economist John Appleby said:
'The promotion and demotion of hospitals in this year's star ratings may leave some patients feeling unnecessarily concerned. It will also lead to some further confusion within the foundation trust debate, as some of the candidate hospitals have slipped from the three star ranking obligatory for achieving foundation status in the first wave.
'The star ratings are a useful management tool for the Department of Health and the NHS, but are a poor guide for patients. It's time for the government to reconsider the whole picture of NHS targets, indicators and rankings - of which star ratings are a part - to ensure they are more useful and empowering for staff and patients alike.'
Notes to editors:
1. For further information, or interviews with The King’s Fund staff, please contact Daniel Reynolds in the public affairs office on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927.