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The Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed between the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Local Authorities, came into effect on 1 April 2015.

The full document can be located here.

The MoU outlines the responsibilities of the CQC, HSE and the Local Authorities when dealing with health and safety incidents in the health and adult social care sectors.

What changes have been made?

The CQC is now the lead inspection and enforcement body for safety and quality of treatment and care matters involving patients and service users in receipt of a health or adult social care service from a provider registered with the CQC.

The HSE are the lead inspection and enforcement bodies for health and safety matters involving patients and service users who are in receipt of a health and care service from providers not registered with the CQC, and for health and safety matters involving workers, visitors and contractors, irrespective of registration.

What remains the same?

The MoU provides examples of the type of incidents which still fall to the CQC to consider. These include a patient falling from a window, a patient who did not receive treatment in line with their care plan and who died or was severely harmed as a result, or a patient being seriously injured after being physically restrained by staff.

The MoU also provides further examples of incidents which still fall to the HSE, such as circumstances where the commissioner of the service, rather than the provider, seems to have been primarily at fault or where the provider is not required to be registered with CQC.

Under the MoU the existing statutory arrangements for the notifications of incidents will continue for the time being (e.g. RIDDOR and CQC’s notification requirements).

Notification requirements

The CQC document ‘Notifications Required by the Health and Social Care Act 2008: Guidance for English NHS Providers’ details the notifications that must be submitted directly to the CQC and the notifications that can be submitted to NHS England’s National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS), and explains which incidents it is mandatory to report.

The document also lists a variety of other incidents where the provider must notify the CQC ‘without delay’.

What this means for you

Healthcare providers registered with the CQC should now report to them when incidents arise involving patients and service users who are in receipt of care. If reporting to the CQC you need to comply with their notification requirements.

However, there are incidents that should still be reported to the HSE, which are those involving workers, visitors and contractors, irrespective of their registration with the CQC. If reporting to the HSE you continue to comply with the RIDDOR notification requirements.

How can Ward Hadaway help?

For more information about the issues raised in this update, please contact Jeffrey Keeble

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.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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