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Public support ‘duty of candour’ for GPs, says CQC

The vast majority of the public support introducing a duty of candour as a requirement for CQC registration for NHS providers, says the regulator.

Some 84% of respondents to a CQC consultation on the idea agreed with or strongly agreed with the introduction of a duty of candour as a registration requirement to ensure providers tell people about any problems that have affected the quality of care.

Some 72% felt the duty should be drafted so that providers breaching it could be prosecuted.

The CQC said that they had gained broad approval for the ‘broad themes’ they had suggested should guide the way the regulator inspects NHS services through the ‘A New Start’ consultation.

Other more specific ideas that were included for GP practices – such as powers to de-register those who fail to stay open at times convenient to the needs of the local patients – will be included in a discussion document in the new year.

A total of 79% of respondents said they agreed or strongly agreed with the changes the CQC was making to how it regulated.

Some 81% agreed or strongly agreed with the five key questions CQC will ask when it inspects services - are they safe, are they effective, are they caring, are they well-led and are they responsive to people’s needs?

The CQC also found support for its recruitment of specialist inspectors, larger, expert inspection teams, more use of people with experience of care in inspection teams, intelligent monitoring of NHS acute hospitals and inspecting a core of services to award a hospital rating.

Plans to to include a statutory duty of candour in the Health and Social Care Bill were defeated in the House of Lords in February but the Department of Health intends to publish a draft duty of candour regulation for consultation in Autumn, as part of a consultation into the CQC´s new registration requirements.

The planned changes to the way the CQC inspects services follow recommendations in the government’s response to the Francis report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust published earlier this year.

In a three month period between June and August 2013, the CQC consulted 2,900 people including members of the public, service users, carers, CQC staff, care organisations, care professionals, voluntary organisations.

CQC chief executive David Behan said: ‘We are very pleased that our proposals have clear public support. We will take on board all the comments we’ve received, including where people have expressed concerns, as we develop these changes further, continuing to work with people to do so.’

A CQC spokesman told Pulse. ‘There will be a detailed discussion document on general practice in the New Year looking at how these broad themes will be applied to GPs.’

Readers' comments (17)

  • Voting Conservative will adversely affect the quality of care .

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  • GPs were asked the questions
    A- is CQC a wate of time?
    B-Is it practical to open 8 to 8 7 days a week in every practice?
    C- is this Goverment supporting the nhs?
    100% Replied that
    A- yes it is
    B- are you joking?
    c- HAHAHAHAH

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  • I'd be very happy with this. It would be my duty to inform patients about how the currently govt. policy is detrimental to healthcare provision.

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  • So which part of my current work do these patients wish me to drop in order to ensure this happens? Should I offer less appointments? No more home visits maybe?

    At which point will the government be honest with patients and tell them additional duty will be a trade off against an existing one? And patient group realize this very obvious truth?

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  • Yes a legal 'duty of candour' is needed, though I suspect those even if instigated the NHS will find myriad ways to circumvent it.

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  • So these know-nowts will have the power to shut down practices not opening when "needed" by their patient!

    Too late - we will resign if demands on us increase even further.

    It is already almost impossible to attract even those minimally qualified to work in general practice in our area where the age of many GPs means over a third are about to retire anyhow.

    The CQC’s aim is to make sure better care is provided for everyone, whether that’s in hospital, in care homes, in people’s own homes or elsewhere. ( from NHS choices website)

    Good luck with that. .

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  • I think this is just about GPs, HPCs and the NHS being honest and transparent when things go wrong.

    That is not what happens at the moment, which is why the vast majority of the public support a legal 'duty of candour'.

    I'm sorry if this basic human right to integrity will deter people from joining the profession, or encouraging those already in it to quit. If that is the case, that in itself says a lot about the current culture of the NHS.

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  • I disagree that this is simply about honesty or transparency which are so firmly rooted in all our clinical work. As with most things from this government I am certain it will be used to apportion blame firmly on front line staff when the undeliverable promised to the electorate cannot be delivered.

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  • Some say duty of candour is a good thing.
    Some say duty of candour is a bad thing.

    But everyone says it has nothing to do with the CQC. If it is a requirement then it should be from the GMC.

    The CQC should be prevented from developing more powers/ defining their own role because it is too east for politicians (who have never treated patients) to interfere.

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  • The proposal is that all those who provide NHS services will have a legal duty of candour. This is not about GPs specifically, and would equally apply to private organisations and non clinical staff.
    The GMC only regulate doctors. CQC regulate all providers and it is therefore right that they impose these expectations.
    GPs are rightly paranoid at the moment, but I think this, for once, is not directly targeted at us.

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