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Duty of Candour Review

Following the Government's response to the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry, Professor Norman Williams, President of the College, and Sir David Dalton Chief Executive of Salford Royal Hospital, were asked by the Secretary of State for Health to lead a review on two proposals to enhance candour in the NHS.

These include whether the threshold for the new statutory duty of candour should be set at the level of death and serious injury, or death, serious duty, and moderate harm and how the NHS Litigation Authority might incentivise candour by seeking reimbursements from trusts in cases where they had not been candid with a patient or family.

The final report ‘Building a culture of candour: A review of the threshold for the duty of candour and of the incentives for care organisations to be candid’ can be accessed here.

The final report makes three recommendations:

  • The first addresses building a wider culture of candour by training and supporting staff, improving the levels and accuracy of reporting of patient safety incidents and spreading and applying lessons learned into practice.
  • The second recommends the inclusion of ‘moderate’ harm within the organisational duty.
  • The third recommends a consultation on options to involve the NHS Litigation Authority in supporting a culture of candour, and whether this should include both reimbursement and other options. The review emphasises the importance of ensuring that future incentives form part of a coherent framework.

During the course of the review a call for evidence was issued and a series of evidence sessions were held with the review team. The submissions and other related documents can be found below.