Scottish Government
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New candour proposals for care

Consultation seeks views on introducing duty of candour legislation.

All health or social care services in Scotland are to have a legal duty to tell people when harm has occurred during their care or treatment.

Launching a consultation on proposals to introduce a statutory duty of candour for health and social care services, the Scottish Government aims to put transparency at the heart of our care and drive up standards of care offered.

While the Scottish Government actively encourages reporting of the small number of significant adverse events in the NHS, introducing a statutory duty of candour will require services to make sure that they are open on every occasion. It will also require support to be in place for everyone involved and specific training for staff.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

“Scotland has some of the safest healthcare in the world. This is due to our world-leading patient safety programme and our commitment to report unintended events so that any learning can be taken from them.

“The Scottish Government strongly supports duty of candour and believes that all health and social care staff must be honest and transparent in everything that they do in order to best serve and protect those who rely on their services.

“Outlining our intention to put this important principle into legislation places a duty on every service to give an explanation to any person who suffers harm and, where appropriate, an apology.

“This legislation will also build on the progress made across NHS Scotland through the implementation of our national framework for learning from adverse events.”

Notes To Editors

The consultation will go live on Wednesday October 15, 2014.


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