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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.’