Duty of candour draft guidance

A consultation is currently underway on how doctors, nurses and midwifes can be more open and honest when things go wrong.

The General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council have produced draft guidance on the ‘duty of candour’ for individual health professionals. The purpose of the guidance is to support doctors, nurses and midwives in fulfilling their professional duty to be open and honest about mistakes.

This follows on from work being carried out by CQC to help NHS trusts understand how they can meet the upcoming duty of candour and fit and proper persons regulations. This will help providers have robust systems in place to be open and honest when things go wrong and to hold directors to account when care fails people. The legislation underpinning these is currently subject to Parliamentary approval.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “The draft guidance for health professionals is a welcome move to make the NHS more open and honest when things go wrong, and to move away from a blame culture. This supports our wider work on helping organisations to meet the Government’s new regulations so that those who provide health services in the NHS are more accountable.”

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