The fit and proper person test: Requirements for boards and the duty of candour

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New legislation - that came into being in April 2015 - made it clear that individuals who have authority in organisations that deliver care are responsible for the overall quality and safety of that care and as such, can be held accountable if standards of care do not meet legal requirements. In addition, the new duty of candour will carry an offence that means the Care Quality Commission (CQC) can move directly to prosecution without first serving a warning notice.

This half-day session aimed to enable chairs and non-executive directors to:

  • be fully conversant with the new laws
  • explore the impact of the changes to their own organisation
  • debate a variety of scenarios in a safe and confidential environment.

The session drew on advice from legal experts and links to the work of the CQC well-led domain.


Robert Breedon

Robert is an experienced commercial lawyer with specialist experience in health care having worked at the Department of Health from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this he worked in private practice as well as in industry for both Southern Electric plc and The BOC Group plc.

Robert was formerly head of NHS Contracting, the team within the Department of Health responsible for the contract and performance management of a large number of clinical services contracts.

A former insurance litigator, Robert has also provided commercial advice and support on a range of insurance and health-related matters. He is also a trained mediator and advocate of alternative dispute resolution.

He is an enthusiast for the delivery of integrated care and the use of different contracting models and payment mechanisms having contributed to a number of publications and articles. Robert advises a number of NHS commissioners and health care providers in both the public and independent sectors.

Sarah Massie

Sarah Massie has more than 25 years' experience in the NHS, most recently at NHS East of England, where she was responsible for talent management and leadership development. This work included facilitation and support of the implementation of the East of England NHS Talent and Leadership plan, the High Potential Executive Development programme, and non-executive director and chair development.

In addition, Sarah supported the work of the East of England Commissioning Directorate where she led leadership and organisational development interventions for emerging clinical commissioning groups.

Sarah has a clinical background, working in hospital pharmacy after qualifying in 1987. In her role as Director of the South East Regional Pharmacy Education and Training Team she was involved in developing extended roles and professional registration for pharmacy support staff at a national level.

In 2002, Sarah moved into the field of workforce development, working for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority. Here she focused on new ways of working, associate practitioner development and the widening participation agenda. Sarah was also seconded to the National Workforce Review Team as part of the review of ambulance service workforce development.

Sarah has held several senior roles across the NHS in a range of organisations at both an operational and a strategic level. She is qualified at Level B Intermediate Plus in British Psychological Society psychometric testing and is also accredited with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.