Duty of Candour - What does it mean?

Posted by Samantha Ward on

Who are BL Claims Solicitors

BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

Following a key recommendation of the Mid Staffordshire Enquiry, in November 2014 a new statutory duty of candour was introduced for secondary NHS healthcare bodies in England. The duty will also apply to all other care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from 1 April 2015.

The duty of candour sets out statutory obligations further to promoting an open and honest way of health and social care provision and transparency when things go wrong. The statutory duty applies to organisations rather than individuals (although similar ideals are set out in both the Nursing and Midwifery and General Medical Council's Codes of Conduct) and stipulates processes to be followed, as soon as is reasonably practicable, following either a 'moderate' or 'severe' incident involving patient safety.

Any unexpected or unintended incident that causes moderate or severe harm, death or prolonged psychological harm for a minimum of 28 days is to be reported under the statutory duty. The organisation must inform the patient in person and is expected to provide a full explanation of what is known at the time, including details of further investigations to be carried out. A written record should be provided. An apology must be given to the patient and a written record of all correspondence kept. Failure to comply with this statutory requirement could lead to criminal proceedings.

I welcome the new regulations; I have seen many examples of openness and honesty following adverse incidents by individuals within healthcare organisations; by making this a statutory requirement hopefully this will set a standard across the board in terms of health and social care provision at an organisational level.

BL Claims Solicitors are here to help

If you would like to talk to someone and discuss a potential claim please call us on 0344 620 6600 anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, or if you would prefer you can email us at info@blclaims.co.uk

About the Author

Photograph of Samantha Ward

Sam is a Registered Nurse with 17 years' experience working in the NHS. She uses her medical and nursing knowledge and experience to liaise with clients.

Samantha Ward
Email Samantha
023 8085 7119

View profile