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The statutory duty of candour now applies to all health care organisations which are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It takes the form of regulations governing regulation with the CQC brought in under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 – specifically regulation 20.

It came into force for NHS bodies in November 2014, and for NHS primary care and private providers of health and social care in April 2014. The full regulation 20 itself and the guidance from CQC on what is required is available on the CQC website:


Unfortunately, despite AvMA’s advice, the way that the regulation has been framed creates a significant difference between the duty of candour which applies to NHS bodies (NHS trusts and authorities) compared with NHS primary care practitioners (GPs, pharmacists, dentists etc.) and private healthcare providers.

Following a legal challenge by AvMA in June 2015, the Department of Health & Social Care has now agreed to deal with this anomaly by consulting on new regulations creating a single duty of candour based on the current requirements for NHS bodies.

We urge everyone to look out for this consultation and respond.