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One week to go for the NHS to comment on how it will be honest and accountable

29 August 2014
  • Media

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.


For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out-of-hours on 07917 232 143. For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

For further information about CQC’s consultation on its guidance for providers on how to meet the fundamental standards and on CQC’s enforcement powers, please visit: Consultations on our guidance to help services meet new regulations

The “duty of candour” requirement (Regulation 5) will oblige providers to be open and honest with people who use services when things go wrong and to do this in a timely manner and to provide appropriate support.

The “fit and proper persons” requirement (Regulation 20) will make individuals who have authority in organisations that deliver care accountable when standards are not met. Chairs of providers will have to declare in writing to CQC that their directors have been assessed to be fit for their roles, taking into account any associations with serious misconduct and care failings in previous roles, as well as qualifications, skills, experience and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

If this cannot be demonstrated, CQC will be able to require providers to remove the director, or if the organisation is registering with CQC to provide care services, to refuse their application.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.