Regulating the duty of candour

In August 2016 AvMA published its first report on how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had been regulating the statutory duty of candour. The study showed that CQC inspections of NHS trusts in 2015 were very inconsistent and often superficial in how they assessed compliance with the duty, and that even where they identified there was non-compliance, there was little or no evidence that the CQC was taking steps to ensure that NHS trusts improved. It was also found that the CQC could not identify a single example where they had taken action over an alleged individual breach of the duty reported to it, and had no system in place to monitor these.

We called on the CQC to make urgent improvements to how it regulates the duty of candour and made several recommendations to that end. You can see the full 2016 report below:

Requires improvement

In 2018 we published an update to that report, which found that the CQC “requires improvement” in how it regulates the statutory duty of candour. We found it doesn’t record how many individual allegations it receives and has no system ensuring allegations are dealt with. Inspections are inconsistent and the CQC does not publicise any enforcement action it takes. Although there had been significant improvements since our previous report in 2016, we were still concerned and made a series of recommendations. You can see the full 2018 report below: