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How we involve providers in moderation


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We moderate all stories we receive on Care Opinion, in line with our moderation principles.

Once we have approved a story for publication, it is published immediately if it relates only to publicly-owned providers, eg NHS, local authorities, health & social care partnerships.

If the story relates to privately-owned providers, eg independent care homes, general practices, we email the care provider with a link to the story before it is published. If the provider has any concerns about our moderation of the story, this creates an opportunity to raise them.

Go ahead

If a care provider has no concerns about our moderation of the story, they can choose to Go ahead. In this case the story appears on Care Opinion for everyone to read, and we send alerts to relevant organisations (providers, commissioners, regulators, scrutiny organisations).

The care provider and other relevant organisations can then respond on Care Opinion, again for everyone to read. (See how this looks)

Request review

If a care provider chooses Request review, they can tell us their concerns about our moderation of the story. For example, the story may be linked to the wrong provider, or inadvertently identify an individual in a defamatory or harmful way. Sometimes a provider may be aware of legal reasons why a story cannot be published.

If we receive a request to review, a senior moderator at Care Opinion will look at the story again in the light of the concerns raised by the provider. Sometimes this process will lead to a conversation between the moderator and the provider to clarify the issues.

After review, if the concerns can be resolved then the story will be published as normal.

If Care Opinion accepts that in the light of further information the story cannot be published for some specific reason, then the story will be rejected.

In rare cases, Care Opinion and the provider may be unable to resolve the issue. In that case, Care Opinion may choose to publish the story in a "restricted" state. Everyone will be able to see the story is there, but will not be able to see what it says. (See how this looks)

Even though you cannot read a restricted story, you can see which provider restricted it, and the reason they gave. A provider cannot alter a restricted story, or post any responses to it.

If a story is restricted, we still send email alerts to relevant regulatory organisations to let them know it has been restricted, and why. They will be able to read the story.

What if the provider doesn't respond?

Care Opinion allows 72 hours for a provider to respond to a request for a decision. If we don't receive a response, our system assumes there is no objection to publication.

Who can see a restricted story?

A restricted story can be seen by staff of “public interest bodies” registered on Care Opinion, such as the Care Quality Commission, the Care Inspectorate, or the local authority.

You can see which public interest bodies can read a restricted story on the story page itself.

We send emails to staff of public interest bodies to let them know about a restricted story, and they can post a comment on Care Opinion to say what action they are taking.