History made today as “duty of candour” becomes law – more action needed to make nhs cover ups a thing of the past

Published: 27 Nov 2014

Today marks an historic moment for the NHS in England. The statutory Duty of Candour –  a legal duty to be open and honest with patients or their families when things go wrong that can cause harm – comes into force.

Action against Medical Accidents (“AvMA” – the charity for patient safety & justice) has campaigned for such a duty for two decades and together with the recommendation of such a duty from Sir Robert Francis following the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry, helped persuade Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to agree to it. Successive Governments had refused to go as far as making honesty when things go wrong a statutory requirement. The Duty of Candour applies to all NHS trusts and will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has severe sanctions available for NHS trusts who do not comply including, ultimately, criminal sanctions.

Read full press release