The government has published the fundamental standards regulations. They include two regulations – the duty of candour and the fit and proper person requirement for directors – which will come into force on 27 November for NHS trusts, Foundation Trusts and some special health authorities that provide care and treatment to people that is regulated by CQC.
The remaining fundamental standards will come into force from April 2015. The duty of candour and the fit and proper requirement for directors will also be extended to all other providers from April via additional regulations, still subject to Parliament.
The duty of candour and the fit and proper requirement regulations will help to ensure that providers have robust systems in place to be open and honest when things go wrong and to hold directors to account when care fails people.
The final debate to agree all of the fundamental standards regulations was held in the House of Lords last week. The published regulations replace the previous 16 essential standards.
We will shortly be issuing guidance to NHS providers on how they can meet the duty of candour and the fit and proper person requirement regulations.
The fundamental standards are:
- care and treatment must be appropriate and reflect service users’ needs and preferences.
- service users must be treated with dignity and respect.
- care and treatment must only be provided with consent.
- care and treatment must be provided in a safe way.
- service users must be protected from abuse and improper treatment.
- service users’ nutritional and hydration needs must be met.
- all premises and equipment used must be clean, secure, suitable and used properly.
- complaints must be appropriately investigated and appropriate action taken in response.
- systems and processes must be established to ensure compliance with the fundamental standards.
- sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff must be deployed.
- persons employed must be of good character, have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience, and be able to perform the work for which they are employed (fit and proper persons requirement).
- registered persons must be open and transparent with service users about their care and treatment (the duty of candour).