New ‘duty of candour’ rules instruct medics to admit mistakes
By Dominic Hughes
Health correspondent, BBC News
29 June 2015
From the section Health
Doctors and nurses have a professional duty to be open and honest with patients
New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.
Known as a “duty of candour”, the guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology.
In April, the NHS introduced a rule that told NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible.
Now the same rule is to be applied to individual medics.
Detailed guidance makes clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health.
The guidance also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology.
For the avoidance of doubt, it even spells out words that such an apology might include, such as “I am sorry”.
The guidance was drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.
The Francis Report into the scandal at Stafford Hospital, in which hundreds of patients suffered poor care and neglect, exposed how fears over damage to the reputation of the Mid Staffs Trust led to a lethal culture of silence and cover-up when mistakes were made.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said that while things can and do go wrong, …read more
Source:: BBC UK