A consultation has been launched on implementing a ‘Duty of Candour’, a contractual requirement on NHS providers to be open with patients when things go wrong with their healthcare.
The contractual Duty of Candour, which forms part of the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS by making it more accountable and transparent, will be an enforceable duty on providers.
The aim is to ensure providers are open and honest with patients, or their families, and give them information about any investigations that have taken place or any lessons learned.
The consultation asks:
- how best to design a contractual requirement for organisations to be open, including the scope and the kinds of sanctions that should be available
- how best to support patients and clinicians to ensure people are told when things go wrong.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘We must develop a culture of openness in the NHS. This is a key part of how a modern NHS should be – open and accountable to the public and patients to drive improvements in care.
‘That’s why we are introducing a requirement on providers to be transparent in admitting mistakes. We need to find the most effective way to promote openness and hold those organisations who are not open to account.
‘A more transparent NHS is a safer NHS where patients can be confident of receiving high quality care.’
The consultation closing date has been extended to 31 January 2012