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Francis stops short of regulation for managers

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Directors of NHS providers should be subject to a new fit and proper person test, Robert Francis QC has recommended. However, he has not called for regulation of all NHS managers.

The Report into the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust Public Inquiry recommends consideration should be given to whether a person has to have a minimum level of experience and/or training to be considered a fit and proper person.

Martin Yeates was chief executive of Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust during most of the period covered by the inquiry was in his first chief executive role.

Recommendation 82 of 290 states: “Provision should be made for regulatory intervention to require removal or suspension from office after due process of a person whom the regulator is satisfies is not or is no longer a fit and proper person, regardless of whether the trust is in significant breach of its authorisation or licence.”

The provider would be required to notify Monitor, the CQC and the NHS Trust Development Authority if this had happened. This could open the door for the creation of a blacklist, or negative register, of directors.

Mr Francis said the fit and proper person test should include a requirement to comply with a prescribed code of conduct for directors.

The Professional Standards Authority recently published a revised set of standards for boards.

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