The regulatory burden on NHS providers is ever increasing:
From 1 April 2015, in addition to the Duty of Candour and Fit
and Proper Person Test introduced in November 2014, the full suite
of requirements under the Fundamental Standards will be monitored
and assessed under CQC’s new inspection methodology, meaning:
- More robust inspection – with increased scrutiny of providers’
Focus on organisational culture, particularly with regard to
Openness, Transparency and Candour
- Increased accountability of Board level directors through the
Fit and Proper Person test – with implications for providers’
systems around recruitment, appraisal, and investigatory
- Quality ratings of services - impacting on patient choice
- Stronger enforcement powers – with direct prosecutions for
offences, and CQC taking the lead on Health and Safety issues
impacting on patient care.
- ‘Special Measures’ regimes in respect of inadequate care.
- For Foundations Trusts, parallel enforcement action by Monitor
under the provider licence
- Increased emphasis on promoting and protecting patients’ rights
through the new Adult Safeguarding regime and particularly under
the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
A further specific focus is in relation to the provision of
information and information governance with:
- Requirements to comply with the NHS Information Governance
Toolkit as part of the NHS Standard Contract.
- Forthcoming significant changes to the data protection regime
under the impending EU Data Protection Regulation.
- Increased transparency as a consequence of various obligations
under the NHS Standard Contract and regulatory expectations.
These combine to present major challenges for providers in terms
of their governance systems and management of workforce to ensure
they can deliver safe, high quality care against a backdrop of
increasing funding pressures from commissioners and enhanced
Bevan Brittan’s Services
Our team provides a ‘one stop shop’ to support providers to meet
the regulatory challenges with specialists in Corporate Governance;
Regulatory law; Employment law; Medical law; and Information
We have extensive experience and understanding of the changes
impacting on the health and social care sector having acted as a
recognised legal representative in the Mid Staffs Inquiry which has
prompted the current regulatory reforms. Drawing on this experience
we advise providers on meeting the challenges at all levels from
setting board strategy, to implementation and review of Governance
frameworks, and advice on operational matters.
How we can help
- Board level workshops and senior management briefings on the
challenge of being ‘Well-led’ – incorporating CQC’s and Monitor’s
requirements and cultural issues on raising and responding to
concerns, equalities, anti-bullying and harassment and running
- Advice and assurance on quality and corporate governance
Support on service restructuring/acquisitions – governance,
regulatory, and workforce issues.
- Advice and support in relation to contractual
Policy/ Process Support
- HR policies and procedures – audits and advice on recruitment,
performance management, and disciplinary arrangements.
- Candour - drafting and reviewing candour and related quality
governance policies and procedures.
- ‘Raising Concerns’ – audit and review of policies and
procedures and practical advice on how documentation may be
embedded to create a positive open culture.
- Quality governance – checking that your systems deliver
evidence-based outcomes by interrogating whether information is
robust and compliant with best practice and legal
- Information governance – drafting and reviewing policies,
procedures and data processing agreements and advice on compliance
with the NHS Information Governance Toolkit
- Investigations – early engagement on the planning, structuring
and conduct of internal investigations, and advice on participation
in third party investigations to ensure they are conducted fairly
and robustly, particularly in circumstances where the outcome may
- CQC inspection support - preparing for CQC inspections and
responding to CQC inspection reports (factual accuracy
- CQC challenges – Ratings reviews and representation in
- Advice on all aspects of employment relationship issues
including managing grievances, raising concerns and whistleblowing
processes and Employment Tribunal challenges.
- Monitor licensing and enforcement action.
- Commissioner led investigations.
- Advice on legislative frameworks for mental health, mental
capacity and Deprivation of Liberty including representation in the
Court of Protection, High Court and disputes with
- Advice on data protection and information governance, including
handling data breaches and complaints, sharing of patient
confidential data and subject access requests.
This article may contain information of general interest about
current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.