Recommendation 153

Duty to cooperate with professional regulators

Accepted in principle
The Secretary of State should by statutory instrument specify all medical education and training regulators as relevant bodies for the purpose of their statutory duty to cooperate. Information sharing between the deanery, commissioners, the General Medical Council, the Care Quality Commission and Monitor with regard to patient safety issues must be reviewed to ensure that each organisation is made aware of matters of concern relevant to their responsibilities.

As stated in recommendation 152, in the new health and care system architecture, memoranda of understanding exist between key partners such as Health Education England and the Care Quality Commission, to share information and concerns about the quality and safety delivered of providers. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 further strengthened this by placing a statutory duty on Monitor and the Care Quality Commission to cooperate in the interests of patients. Monitor and the Care Quality Commission have a memorandum of understanding in place to facilitate the necessary collaboration and information sharing. There are similar duties on organisations across the system, including Health Education England.

The Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council have published an operational protocol which sets out in detail how coordination and information sharing will work between the two regulators. A similar arrangement will be in place between the Care Quality Commission and the Nursing and Midwifery Council by December 2013, and updated information sharing arrangements thereafter between the Care Quality Commission, the General Dental Council and Health and Care Professions Council. Information from third parties such as the General Medical Council and the Royal Colleges is a potential trigger for regulatory intervention in Monitor’s Risk Assessment Framework. Recently established quality surveillance groups bring together the different parts of the system to share information, including shared views of risks to quality and any early warning signs of risk about poor quality.  If any part of the local, regional or national system has concerns that there may be a serious quality failure within a provider organisation, which cannot be addressed through established and routine operational systems, a Risk Summit can be called.

No update required. Please see response to the recommendation above