Duty of candour

Our professional duty of candour

We aspire to provide high quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience.

However, when anything goes wrong

  • As individual clinicians in this practice we will always be open and honest with patients in our care, or those close to them, if something goes wrong.
  • As an organisation we encourage a learning culture by reporting adverse incidents that lead to harm, as well as near misses.

We will always offer an apology
We know saying sorry meaningfully when things go wrong is vital for everyone involved in an incident, including the patient, their family, carers, and the staff that care for them.

Saying sorry is: always the right thing to do and though not an admission of liability acknowledges that something could have gone better. It is the first step to learning from what happened and preventing it recurring

We know patients expect to be told three things as part of an apology:

  • what happened
  • what can be done to deal with any harm caused
  • what will be done to prevent someone else being harmed.

This culture applies across all our care whatever the level.

The statutory duty of candour

We will always fulfill our statutory (legal) duty of candour to be open and honest with patients (or ‘service users’), or their families, when something goes wrong that appears to have caused significant harm.

Under the statutory duty the Care Quality Commission summarise:

This is further explained by the independent charity Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA)
Duty of Candour leaflet (need to download) AvMA – Duty of Candour leaflet

Further information

From the General Medical Council
The professional duty of candour The professional duty of candour – GMC

From Care Quality Commission (CQC)

From NHS Resolution
Saying sorry NHS-Resolution-Saying-Sorry.pdf

From Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA)
Home page AvMA


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