Duty of candour review announced

  • 6th December 2023

In this short article, Patient Safety Learning sets out its response to the announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care that it will be reviewing the statutory duty of candour for health and social care providers in England.

We welcome today's announcement by the Government that they will hold a review into the statutory duty of candour for health and social care providers.

The statutory duty of candour is intended to ensure that healthcare providers are open and transparent with the public. It sets specific requirements for organisations to follow when things go wrong with care and treatment.

Earlier this year the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman highlighted concerns around the implementation of duty of candour and called for a review to assess its effectiveness in their report Broken trust: making patient safety more than just a promise. In our response to this report, we supported this recommendation.

As part of reviewing problems with compliance, we believe that there are also broader questions that also need to be addressed concerning how the implementation of this is monitored and what remediation and redress is available to patients and the families when these obligations are not met.

We also believe that this review should look at how the duty of candour is being implemented in light of the introduction of the new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF), given that this represents a significant change to the NHS’s approach to incident investigation.

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