Preparing for Greater Regulatory Scrutiny on the Statutory Duty of Candour

Tony Thiru of Fulcrum Care comments: “In light of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reviewing the Statutory Duty of Candour, care providers must anticipate increased regulatory attention from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This period of review presents an invaluable opportunity for care providers to proactively audit their systems and processes, ensuring they align with the principles of openness and transparency.” 

Looking in depth at the Statutory Duty of Candour Tony looks at how as care home providers you can prepare: 

Importance of the Statutory Duty of Candour 

The Statutory Duty of Candour is a critical element in fostering a culture of safety within care settings. It mandates that care providers must be open and honest with residents and their families when things go wrong, particularly when an incident results in significant harm. By embracing this duty, care providers not only comply with legal requirements but also build trust and confidence with residents and their families. 

Preparing for Increased Scrutiny 

With the DHSC's review, it is likely that the CQC will place a heightened focus on the Duty of Candour during inspections. Care providers should prepare by: 

1. Conducting Comprehensive Audits:  

  • Evaluate existing systems and processes to ensure they facilitate open and transparent communication. 

  • Identify any gaps or weaknesses that could impede compliance with the Duty of Candour. 

2.  Training and Education:  

  • Ensure all staff members understand the importance of the Duty of Candour. 

  • Provide regular training sessions to reinforce the principles of openness and honesty in patient care. 

3.  Enhancing Reporting Mechanisms:  

  • Implement or upgrade incident reporting systems to ensure timely and accurate reporting of any incidents. 

  • Encourage a non-punitive approach to reporting to foster a culture of safety and learning. 

4.  Engaging with Residents and Families:  

  • Develop clear communication strategies for informing residents and families when incidents occur. 

  • Create support systems to help residents and families understand and cope with incidents of harm. 

Encouraging a Culture of Transparency 

A commitment to the Duty of Candour extends beyond regulatory compliance. It is about embedding a culture where transparency is the norm. This involves: 

  • Leadership Commitment:  
    • Leaders must champion the principles of the Duty of Candour and model transparent behaviours.  

  • Continuous Improvement:  
    • Use insights from audits and incident reports to drive continuous improvement in care quality and safety. 

  • Person Centered Care:  
    • Ensure that resident welfare and safety remain at the heart of all policies and practices. 

Call to Action 

Given the anticipated regulatory focus, now is the time for you as care providers to act. By conducting thorough audits and reinforcing an open and transparent culture, you will be well-prepared for any regulatory scrutiny and, more importantly, will be fostering an environment where patient safety and trust are paramount. 

This insight highlights the importance of readiness and proactive measures in anticipation of greater regulatory scrutiny, emphasising the need for a transparent and open culture in care settings. 

Tony Thiru

For a detailed audit of your care systems and processes, or to discuss strategies to enhance your compliance with the Duty of Candour, please contact the Fulcrum Team HERE