Eight health and social care regulators and other bodies have signed an 'Emerging Concerns Protocol' to help them share concerns with each other more effectively.
The agreement seeks to provide a clearly defined mechanism for the signatories to share information and intelligence that may indicate risks to service users, their carers, families or professionals.
Organisations that have signed the Emerging Concerns Protocol include:
- Care Quality Commission
- General Medical Council
- General Pharmaceutical Council
- Health and Care Professions Council
- Health Education England
- Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- Nursing and Midwifery Council
- Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
The organisations involved acknowledge that sharing concerns can make it easier to see that a problem is emerging. They suggest that working together more effectively can reduce duplication by encouraging the their organisations to come up with joint plans when they share similar concerns. This protocol aims to ensure regulators are transparent with the public, providers and professionals about the way that they work together.
The protocol is an evolving agreement which looks to build on strong existing relationships and other bodies are likely to join in the future. NHS England and NHS Improvement have supported the emerging concerns working group.
This work was commissioned by the Health and Social Care Regulators’ Forum, which oversees its progress. The protocol has been developed by a working group and was piloted with operational staff from all organisations involved.
The protocol covers England only, the regulators with responsibility for regulating across the UK or Great Britain will continue to work collaboratively with the relevant national organisations in the home countries.