We all aim to give the best possible care every day but sometimes things can go wrong. Duty of candour is about how we deal with these events. It sets out what needs to happen when unexpected or unintended harm has happened.
On 1 April 2018 a new Bill will come into effect and all care, social work and health services will have to follow a duty of candour procedure. This includes all care services registered with the Care Inspectorate. The legislation covers a range of things that need to happen when unexpected or unintended harm or death has occurred. The emphasis is on learning, and change and improvement so that, where possible, we avoid the incident happening to someone else.Principles of candour exist in many organisations and within professional codes of conduct, including the SSSC Codes of Practice, and are expected of health, care and social work staff.
The Act introduces a statutory organisational duty of candour on health, care and social work services. This means that organisations will have to follow a procedure which includes telling the person affected, apologising and offering a meeting to give an account of what happened.
The duty will also require the organisation to review each incident and look at the support available to those affected (both those who deliver and receive care and support services). They will publish an annual report on when the duty has been applied. This will include the number of incidents, how the organisation has implemented the duty and what learning and improvements have been put in place.
Scottish Government, the SSSC, Care Inspectorate, NHS Education for Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland in partnership with representatives from health and social services are developing a range of materials to help organisations to prepare for the new duty.
The following documents are now available on The Knowledge Network.
- Leaflet- A guide for staff and providers
- The procedure
- Providing an apology
- Monitoring and reporting
- Sample reports
Look out for:
- elearning module suitable for all staff
- face to face events across the country
- train the trainers resource
- regulations and guidance.
To request hard copies of the factsheets email firstname.lastname@example.org
The duty of candour provisions in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill were given Royal Assent on 6 April 2016. The implementation date for the duty of candour provisions is 1 April 2018.