The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the regulator for work place health and safety, is seeking views with CQC on how various bodies should take action when staff and people who are receiving health and care services experience avoidable harm in these environments.
From next April, CQC will become responsible for deciding whether regulatory action needs to be taken in response to reported health and safety incidents that involve people who use health and adult social care services that are regulated by CQC. These incidents could include patient deaths following healthcare-associated infections on hospital wards and people being severely injured after being physically restrained in a way that is not in line with national guidance.
This responsibility will be transferred from the HSE, which together with local authorities, will lead on health and safety matters involving workers, visitors and contractors, as well as for people who use care services that are not registered with CQC.
The consultation asks whether the different responsibilities of these bodies have been clearly explained and seeks to ensure there are no regulatory gaps.
It is in response to last year’s public inquiry by Sir Robert Francis QC into the failings of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the government’s response to its recommendations. This:
- 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.
It will close on Wednesday, 31 December 2014.
The HSE will work closely with CQC in developing and transferring this responsibility.
For further information, please visit the HSE’s website.