AvMA has consistently called for a statutory duty of candour in all parts of the UK. Our case was helped significantly by events at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and the subsequent exposure of cover ups of serious failings affecting patients in 2014 strengthened AvMA’s arm.
At a meeting with AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh, previous Health Minister Edwin Poots said that he was minded to bring in a statutory duty. Following a review of patient safety in Northern Ireland by Sir Liam Donaldson, Health Minister Jim Wells confirmed that this would happen.
The long-awaited Hyponatraemia inquiry (to which AvMA provided evidence) had the introduction of a statutory duty of candour as its number one recommendation. AvMA is now working with the Department of Health and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to develop plans for the introduction of a statutory duty of candour.