Duty of candour

Doctor and patient discuss duty of candour

November 2014 marked an historic advance in patients’ rights and patient safety in England with the introduction of a statutory duty of candour (a legal duty to be open and honest with patients about incidents that have caused or have the potential to result in significant harm). This was something AvMA had campaigned for over two decades.

In our experience nothing means more to people affected by medical accidents than getting the truth and knowing that lessons can be learnt. Yet, up to this point for the entire history of the NHS, the system had frowned upon cover ups but effectively had tolerated them.

In this section you can learn more about the history of our campaign and what changes we are still calling for in each part of the UK, as well as more detail on how the duty of candour works in England.

Please see our leaflet: