NHS Trust receives fines for 13 separate breaches of the NHS Duty of Candour Policy
14th October, 2019
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently released a statement outlining failures on the part of an NHS Trust to comply with the statutory Duty of Candour.
Under the Regulations, all healthcare professionals have a statutory responsibility to be open and honest with patients and/or their families when something goes wrong with their care that causes them harm. They are required to provide information to the patient and/or their family, apologise and offer their further support to remedy the situation.
Following the CQC’s involvement with the Trust, it has been identified that they breached the statutory Duty of Candour on 13 issues from 7 separate safety incidents. The incidents which occurred between September 2016 and October 2017 include delays in diagnosis, missed opportunities to investigate a patient’s deteriorating condition and medication errors.
The fixed penalty notices of £1250 for each of the 13 breaches brings the total fine to £16,250. This follows the CQC’s earlier fines against a Foundation Trust in January 2019, where they were fined for the failure to comply with the duty of candour following the death of a baby.
The CQC’s Chief Inspector, Ted Baker confirmed in the statement released, that the new leadership at the Trust have provided evidence of the action that has been taken which includes new staff training, to ensure that the Duty of Candour is now consistently being adhered to.
It is also relevant to note that the statutory Duty of Candour was in its relative infancy at the time of the incidents.
The fines are a salutary reminder of the need for health organisations to comply with the Regulations.
If you need assistance in this important area of compliance, to make sure your organisation is ready for its next CQC inspection, or would simply appreciate some further information, please do get in touch as we can help.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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