Failure to comply with the duty of candour lands NHS Foundation Trust with fine

An NHS Foundation Trust has, for the first time, been fined by The Care Quality Commission for failing to comply with its duty of candour to be open and honest with patients or their families if there is an incident in which they suffer harm.

The Trust received a fixed penalty notice of £1,250 for failing to apologise to a family within a reasonable time.

The case involved a baby admitted to the trust’s infirmary in July 2016 where there were delays in diagnosing his condition and missed opportunities to admit him to hospital.  The Trust recorded the matter as a notifiable patient safety incident, but the family were not informed and did not receive an apology until October 2016.

The case shows that the CQC will use its powers to fine trusts where they have failed to be open and honest when things go wrong that appear to have caused significant harm.

Hempsons provide advice to trusts and other healthcare organisations on the duty of candour.  For further information please contact Anne Ball.