three star rating

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three star rating2017-04-25T01:23:36+00:00

three star rating


Definition A now-antiquated accolade accorded acute hospital trusts based on the NHS star rating system, which assessed organisational performance in terms of service to its patients.

Three star trusts were la crème de la crème, based on the Healthcare Commission’s performance indicators.

The star rating system was abandoned in 2006 and replaced by Annual Health Checks for assessing trusts’ quality of care, as the star system relied too heavily on targets. The Healthcare Commission was abolished in early 2009; most of its responsibilities were subsumed by the Care Quality Commission.

The NHS’s three star system led to confusion, especially by those accustomed to the non-medical 5-star system used in the hotel and travel industry. Witness the following advert in BMJ Careers for a clinical consultant in interstitial lung disease for the Royal Brompton Hospital, 11 March 2006, which read, “We are a world famous three star organisation…” but later in the same advert, asserted “Your research will be at a level in keeping with the Institute’s Five Star rating…”


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