Government under pressure to accept Francis recommendation for a legal duty of candour:

Published: 8 Mar 2013

The Government is under pressure to accept Robert Francis QC’s recommendation for a statutory Duty of Candour on healthcare organisations to be open and honest with patients/families.  Francis made the recommendation after careful analysis of all the evidence at the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry, and concluded the Governments proposed “contractual” duty is insufficient.  Leading patients’ charities including AvMA, National Voices (the umbrella group for national health charities), the Patients Association and National Association of LINks Members have insisted on a statutory duty, describing the contractual mechanism as merely paying lip service to the issue.  Most recently, the new patients’ champion set up under the Government’s own reforms, Healthwatch England, has added its voice to those calling for acceptance of a statutory duty.  The Government is due to respond to the Inquiry’s recommendations towards the end of March.  AvMA’s briefing on the Duty of Candour provides more detail.