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Telling patients the truth when something has gone wrong - how have professional regulators encouraged professionals to be candid to patients?

08 Jan 2019
  • Research Papers

This paper sets out the progress professional regulators we oversee have made in embedding the professional duty of candour (being open and honest to a patient when something has gone wrong in their care) across the UK since 2014

what is the professional duty-of-candour

What is this report about?

This report  sets out the progress professional regulators we oversee have made in embedding the professional duty of candour (being open and honest to a patient when something has gone wrong in their care) across the UK since 2014.

What are the key findings?

The paper’s findings are based upon discussion groups with regulatory staff and fitness to practise panellists conducted by Annie Sorbie (Lecturer in Medical Law and Ethics at Edinburgh University) and questionnaires from regulators and stakeholders across health and care.

The paper makes the main following conclusions:

  • Regulators have made progress with initiatives to encourage candour. However, measuring the success of these initiatives is difficult.
  • Many of the barriers to professionals being candid remain the same as in 2014 when we last did work in this area.
  • Regulators could create more case studies of candour scenarios. This would help to better explain to professionals when to be candid and the regulatory consequences of not being candid.
  • Successful embedding of candour requires organisations across healthcare (not just regulators) to work together.

Find out more

We have done work on this area before such as when the Government asked us to advise and report on regulators’ progress in these areas after the Francis Report. All our work on candour can be found here.

There is also an infographic which gives a visual summary of the main findings.

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