Eight regulators have signed up to a new “protocol” about when to share concerns with each other to prevent poor care in health and social care settings.

The new agreement sets out the process that staff in regulators should follow to pass on crucial information to other national bodies about any concerns they may have sooner than they currently do.

In recent years, almost every major health scandal including Mid Staffordshire, Morecambe Bay, Southern Health and Gosport War Memorial Hospital has involved a level of regulatory failure to share and act on concerns.

The protocol document said: “We know that sharing concerns at the right time can make it easier to make links between pieces of information that tell us a problem is emerging. Information sharing between organisations does happen. However, at times this sharing can be inconsistent and too slow to prevent people receiving poor care.”

The signatories to the new protocol are:

  • Care Quality Commission
  • General Medical Council
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • Health Education England
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

While not listed as signatories, NHS England and NHS Improvement were described as having supported the emerging concerns of the working group.

In a statement, the organisations said sharing concerns meant it would make it easier to spot problems and would allow organisations to work together, reduce duplication and encourage joint plans.