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Monday, 5 September 2016

Committee of Public Accounts - Written evidence from the Chief Executive, Action against Medical Accidents (Part 6)

Over a series of Articles we intend to look at the Committee of Public Accounts - Written evidence from the Chief Executive, Action against Medical Accidents.

This is a Published Article taken directly from the Publications Page of www.parliament.uk

You can jump straight to the full publication here

We, at Edith Ellen HQ, have been very interested in the AvMA a national charity working towards Patient Safety and Justice for Patients when "things go wrong".

The main points of this Article are

  • whether the CQC should be more proactive in following up indicators of potential patient safety lapses, drawing on our research on implementation of Patient Safety Alerts issued by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA);
  • whether the CQC does enough to regulate openness and transparency, both with respect to promoting the protection and support of whistleblowers, and openness with patients/their relatives when things go wrong;
  • whether the CQC engages appropriately with the public; and
  • whether the CQC’s remit is too wide.

With these main points in mind we are jumping to Point 8 of the published article:


"abide by a “Duty of Candour”"

8.1 Whilst we have been highly critical of some aspects of the CQC’s operation and decision making in this submission, we remain convinced of the need for a national regulator. We agree with the concept of Essential Standards of Quality and Safety around which the CQC registers and regulates. We should avoid any temptation to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
8.2 There needs to be a clearer understanding about the respective roles of the CQC as a national regulator and commissioners in ensuring standards. We believe that the CQC should hold the key over essential standards of safety and quality, whilst commissioners monitor compliance at the local level and are more operationally focussed.
8.3 We think that in terms of value for money and effectiveness, it is more of a question of focussing on how the CQC can be more productive. Increasing the number of inspections is a good start. However, we need to see the CQC being much more responsive to other data which may provide early warning signals, such as implementation of patient safety alerts and reports of concerns from the public.
8.4 It would be inappropriate to give the CQC the added responsibility of Healthwatch.
8.5 The CQC’s registration regulations/Essential Standards of Quality and Safety should be amended to make more explicit the requirements as registered organisations to:
- abide by a “Duty of Candour” with patients/their families when things go wrong; 
- and cause harm; listen to, support and protect whistleblowers; 
- and implement patient safety alerts by the required deadline.
8.6 The CQC should reflect, with the benefit of independent input, about the approach it has taken to external stakeholders, its own staff, gagging clauses, and the culture of the organisation/its leadership.
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