Extract from Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill 2016 “…A responsible person must follow the duty of candour procedure… as soon as reasonably practicable”
The Duty of Candour was introduced in England as a direct result of the Francis Inquiry Report into The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which recommended that a statutory “duty of candour” be imposed on all healthcare providers, which defined “Openness”, “Transparency” and “Candour”;
Openness – enabling concerns and complaints to be raised freely without fear and questions asked to be answered.
Transparency – allowing information about the truth about performance and outcomes to be shared with staff, patients, the public and regulators.
Candour – any patient harmed by the provision of a healthcare service is informed of the fact and an appropriate remedy offered, regardless of whether a complaint has been made or a question asked about it.
The intention is that there is a culture of openness and truthfulness to improving the safety of patients, staff and visitors to the Practice, as well as raising the quality of healthcare systems. If patients or employees have suffered harm as a result of using their services, a Practice should be able to confidently investigate, assess and if necessary apologise for and explain what has happened.
It is also intended to improve the levels of care, responsibility and communication between healthcare organisations and patients and/or their carers, staff and visitors and makes sure that openness, honesty and timeliness underpins responses to such incidents.
In March 2016, legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament including laws relating to a statutory duty of candour. This places a responsibility on health and social care organisations to be open and transparent in dealing with instances where a patient has suffered unintended harm, either physical or mental, during a period of treatment or care. See Resources, below.
The provisions required by the Bill include the need for all organisations subject to the duty to submit and publish an annual report. This must include details of the number and nature of any incidents; an assessment of the extent to which the responsible person carried out the duty; information about policies and procedures; any changes to policy and procedure as a result of incidents to which the duty has applied; and any other information the responsible thinks fit to include.
The duty of candour provisions in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill were given Royal Assent on April 6, 2016. It came into force on 1 April 2018.
The purpose of the duty of candour provisions is to support the implementation of consistent responses across health and social care providers when there has been an unexpected event or incident that has resulted in death or harm, which is not related to the course of the condition for which the person is receiving care.
You can access our report by clicking on the heading link.