NHS trusts have until next Friday (5 September) to have their say on how they could show they are meeting the government’s new regulations on being open and honest to patients when things go wrong and on making sure they employ directors who are suitable for the roles.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has drafted guidance on how the 162 NHS trusts across England can meet the government’s new ‘duty of candour’ and the ‘fit and proper persons’ regulations.
These will oblige providers to be open and honest when things go wrong and to hold directors to account when care fails people.
NHS trusts will have to make sure they are meeting these two regulations from November, with other providers of health and adult social care following next spring, subject to Parliamentary approval.
Also, NHS trusts have the chance to comment on the CQC’s proposals about how it will use its enforcement powers when the regulator believes that a regulation has been breached and on its wider guidance on how they can meet the new ‘fundamental standards’ of care.
CQC’s guidance will help both NHS trusts to determine whether they are meeting the regulations and, CQC to decide what action to take when they do not.
David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission said: “We are consulting on our proposed guidance on how providers can meet the requirements of the new regulations and on how we intend to use our enforcement powers.
“It is essential that CQC uses these new responsibilities well to encourage a culture of openness and to hold providers and directors to account when care fails people.
“We have already started to inspect services against the five key questions that matter most to the people who use them – are they safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well-led? This helps our inspection teams to identify good care.
“Where our inspection teams identify poor care, this guidance will help us to determine whether there is a breach of regulations and if so, what action to take. In some cases, this will mean we will use our powers to prosecute.
“For providers, this will help them to make applications to register or vary their registration with CQC, and to make sure their services do not fall below acceptable levels.”
The consultation for NHS bodies on how they would meet the ‘duty of candour’ and ‘fit and proper person’ requirements will close at midnight on Friday 5 September.
Alongside this, CQC is running a wider consultation on how all providers of health and adult social care can meet all of the new ‘fundamental standards’ of care. This will close on Friday 17 October 2014.