All providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (“CQC) must assure themselves that all directors who are responsible for delivering care to service users are fit and proper – in other words, they must be able to diligently carry out their responsibility to ensure the quality and safety of care. This forms part of the providers’ duty to ensure the service is well-led, which is one of the focus points during an inspection. Not only does the CQC monitor compliance at the point of registration, but it is an on-going duty and can lead to enforcement action where it is not met.
The COVID-19 outbreak is new territory, not only for care providers working on the frontline, but also for regulatory bodies. Those that are responsible for caring for vulnerable service users must now do so in an increasingly challenging environment, whilst ensuring that they comply with their professional obligations.
The new Code of Ethics is a product of four years’ work by the UKCP and replaces the previous version, Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct, which was implemented some 10 years ago. The new Code comes into force on 1 October 2019. This means that any complained-of-behaviour that occurs on or after 1 October 2019 will be judged against the new code but conduct that occurs before that date will be judged against the old code.
At the end of last year, the BACP finally published its long awaited revised Professional Conduct Procedure (PCP). Having consulted on amendments to the PCP as far back as 2015, the sheer length of time it has taken to unveil the revised procedure has not gone unnoticed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) who only renewed the BACP's accreditation on the condition that the new PCP be published before the end of 2018. The new PCP only applies to complaints received on or after 1 December 2018.
A paper published by the Professional Standards Authority (“PSA”) last week entitled “Telling patients the truth when something goes wrong” (“the Paper”) addresses the progress of regulators in the Health and Social Care sector in embedding the professional duty of candour over the past 5 years. The Paper highlights the role regulators have played in the development of the Duty of Candour and it’s recognition throughout the Health and Social Care Sector.