By: 17 January 2015
Doctors will play a crucial role in new legal duty of candour

Under the statutory duty of candour which has been introduced, NHS bodies in England (trusts, foundation trusts and special health authorities) must tell patients promptly about ‘notifiable patient safety incidents’, apologise and explain what further enquiries will take place. The duty of candour will be introduced to primary care in April 2015.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has issued advice explaining how the new duty of candour will sit with its members’ existing ethical duty to be open and honest if things go wrong and with their organisation’s contractual duty.
Michael Devlin, MDU head of professional standards and liaison, commented: “Health service bodies in England now have a legal duty of candour to tell the patient or their representative if a notifiable patient safety incident occurs, providing a full explanation of what happened and an apology. Compliance will be overseen by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). While the duty of candour applies to…

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