Consultation: Liaison Agreement Between CQC And HSE

Consultation on the Liaison agreement between Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Local Authorities (LA) in England

This agreement applies to health and safety incidents in the health and adult social care sectors in England only and will come into force on 1st April 2015.

The Government’s finalised response to the Inquiry Hard Truths – the journey to putting patients first was published in November 2013. It:

  • said that CQC is the right organisation to investigate and act where patients and service users have been seriously harmed due to unsafe or poor care
  • committed to providing CQC with the necessary powers to take action, including prosecution, where there are clear failures to meet ‘Fundamental Standards’
  • recognised that more specific Health and Safety at  Work legislation may need to be used in some instances
  • said that the existing CQC/HSE Liaison Agreement would need to be revised accordingly
  • proposed that HSE support CQC in developing its role in investigation and prosecution.

When implemented, we believe that these proposals will substantially close the ‘regulatory gap’ identified by the report of the Francis Public Inquiry in 2013.

In response to this Inquiry CQC, HSE and representatives of Local Authoritieshave drawn up a proposed Liaison Agreement.

Its purpose is to help ensure that there is effective, co-ordinated and comprehensive regulation of health and safety for patients, service users, workers and members of the public.   Alongside this CQC has introduced a new way of inspecting and regulating that aims to address many of the wider recommendations of the Francis Inquiry.

In order to support CQC in developing its new role on health and safety HSE:

  • has shared with CQC HSE’s incident selection criteria, the value of being signed up to the Work-related Deaths Protocol, and the practical applications of its Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model.
  • plan to offer further help to CQC in the period up to April 2015 including:  organising and delivering peer review exercises; adapting some HSE training modules to CQC’s requirements; providing HSE inspectors to act as ’buddies/mentors’ to demonstrate HSE’s investigation processes in both site and office contexts; and providing further support as required after April 2015 to help CQC with their investigations.