latest health care news

08.08.16

CQC duty of candour inspections ‘inconsistent’ and ‘often superficial’

Care Quality Commission (CQC) duty of candour inspections have been branded “inconsistent” and “often superficial” since coming into force.

According to a new study from Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), a quarter of CQC inspection reports had little or no evidence that the regulator was taking steps to ensure that NHS trusts improved, and 7% of reports did not refer to duty of candour at all.

The research, which analysed 90 reports on CQC inspections of NHS trusts in 2015, also revealed that nearly two-fifths of CQC reports contained criticism of how a trust was implementing the duty of candour, but only 14 of these went on to make a recommendation to improve.

AvMA added that where recommendations had been made to improve, the CQC could not “provide a single example” of a trust having responded about the action they would take to improve.

Peter Walsh, AvMA chief executive, said: “Having fought so hard to get a statutory duty of candour, we are deeply disappointed about how the CQC has regulated this so far.

“We still believe the duty of candour is potentially the biggest breakthrough in patient safety and patient rights in modern times, but we have always said that its success will depend to a large extent not only on the goodwill of providers, but on robust regulation by the CQC.”

Last summer the ‘professional duty of candour’ guidance – jointly developed by the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – set out the standards expected of healthcare professionals, including “saying sorry”. The change came about after a 2014 report – carried out by Professor Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir David Dalton, chief executive at Salford Royal NHS FT – called for the NHS to usher in a new culture of candour so that patients are informed when things go wrong.

Professor Edward Baker, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “AvMA’s review looked at CQC’s assessment of the duty of candour requirement placed on NHS trusts during the first year of the regulation coming into force. During this period we focused on trusts’ awareness of the new duty and the systems and processes they were putting in place to support its implementation.

“From these early inspections we identified the need for a more systematic approach to inspecting how well organisations are embedding the duty as part of their broader approach to learning from incidents and supporting people who use services and their families.

“We have since developed our methodology with input from AvMA, and this is now allowing us to follow a more robust and consistent approach in assessing the regulation as part of our hospital inspections. We will soon be rolling this out across all sectors.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Minh Alexander   08/08/2016 at 14:28

CQC is politicised and makes arbitrary decisions. I don't believe CQC is genuinelt interested in its core job of keeping patients safe. CQC has endlessly wriggled to avoid enforcing Regulation 5 Fit & Proper Persons. A summary can be found here: https://twitter.com/alexander_minh/status/759104742815633408 The AvMA report damningly concluded: "We noted that all of the inspections were heavily reliant on comments from the trusts regarding their own implementation of the duty of candour." This is not news to complainants and whistleblowers who see such behaviour by CQC all the time. In a current example, CQC rated Sheffield Teaching Hospitals "Good" despite multiple whistleblowers' concerns, 228 compromise agreements and 22 EXTERNAL whistleblowing disclosures to CQC. Sheffield whistleblowers asked CQC, under FOI, how CQC responded to the 22 disclosures. The CQC reply showed that CQC relied on the trust to investigate 17 of the whistleblowing matters, and only one of the matters was independently investigated. CQC's FOI response can be found uploaded here: https://twitter.com/alexander_minh/status/762623529149952000 CQC remains an integral part of Prof Brian Jarman's NHS "denial machine".

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Your personality, your leadership

Your personality, your leadership

Deirdre Wallace, clinical skills manager at UCL Medical School, discusses the importance of learning about leadership and self while at medical school. Approximately five years ago, I was charg more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

08/08/2017Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

Joanna Smith, chief information officer at Royal Brompton & Harefield N... more >
A centre for medicines optimisation research and education

04/08/2017A centre for medicines optimisation research and education

Dr Yogini Jani, a consultant pharmacist at University College London Hospit... more >

interviews

Improving care at the touch of a screen

08/08/2017Improving care at the touch of a screen

When it comes to dementia, having a calm and safe environment can have a su... more >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Turbo-boosting STPs? It’s time we got serious about ‘partnership’

27/07/2017Turbo-boosting STPs? It’s time we got serious about ‘partnership’

Merron Simpson, chief executive New NHS Alliance, argues we’re missing the point of what ‘partnership working’ truly means if we refuse to recruit help from ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

August 2017

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

editor's comment

13/06/2017Tackling the major challenges facing the NHS

As you will have gathered from the front cover, a theme that runs throughout this edition of NHE is about empowering and involving the workforce in order to deliver innovative change across the system.  Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlights on page 16 the importance of sustainability and transformation partnerships/plans (STPs) being implemented and delivered with clinical input at their core.  And the Health Foundation’s... read more >