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The Duty of Candour shows its teeth

From the jaws of the Care Quality Commission this month comes the first ever fine issued for breach of the Duty of Candour. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been given a fixed penalty notice for £1,250 for failing to apologise to a bereaved family within a ‘reasonable’ time.

A baby had been admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary in July 2016. Delays in diagnosis and missed opportunities to admit him had been recorded as a notifiable safety incident, yet the family were not informed of this and did not receive any apology until October (writes the CQC).

The CQC’s action does not relate to the actual care provided to the child, but rather to the fact that the NHS Trust was slow to inform the family that there had been delays and missed opportunities in his treatment.
Apparently the hospital identified and reported their breach to the CQC themselves, and have implemented an awareness-raising programme across their staff to avoid this happening again. Whilst in theory the CQC have powers of prosecution, in the circumstances, this relatively small fine seems more proportionate.

Click here to read the full blog post by Susanna Rickard.

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