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Creating a climate of openness in the NHS

We welcome the opportunity to provide views on the CQC’s new guidance on duty of candour and the ‘fit and proper persons’ requirements.

It is right that breaches of the fundamental standards be treated with utmost seriousness, and that the CQC can respond promptly.

It is also important that the CQC respond proportionately and that any prosecutions focus only on the most serious failings in care.

It is essential that we find ways to ensure public trust is maintained in services in an open and transparent way.

This will ultimately be driven at a local level and as part of a wider set of changes, including in the way in which we commission and deliver care.

We strongly urge the focus now to be on how to create the right conditions to support and train staff to raise concerns, and to make them feel at ease having open and honest conversations with patients, their families and their carers.

A climate of openness and transparency is one of the ways in which board and individual board members will be aware of systematic examples of poor care or neglect in their increasingly complex organisations.

We will be responding to the CQC’s consultation on behalf of our members from across the system to ensure the guidance can most effectively support them.

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