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New Statutory Duty of Candour is great news for NHS patients

From November 2014, NHS provider bodies registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are required to comply with a new Statutory Duty of Candour (DOC). Independent sector health providers will also need to comply from 1 April 2015, subject to further legislation.

This involves giving patients accurate, truthful, prompt information when mistakes are made and treatment does not go to plan.

This is welcome news not only for all patients but also for all Clinical Negligence lawyers . Our role is to find out what has happened and why for a client and if appropriate work with the relevant bodies to try and get the Client back to the pre-incident state.

Very often our job is hampered by a Trusts unwillingness to be open not only with us but with the patient/client. We get a lot of enquiries form clients who feel they have not been listened to , when mistakes happen ( negligent or otherwise ) no one has taken the time to say sorry . It is often this feeling of frustration that leads them to seek Legal advice.

Hopefully now with legislative backing we will not be met with the veil of secrecy we so often find . Investigations will be easier , reducing time and costs with regard to liability issues so we can concentrate on quantum and the importance of rehabilitation for patients.

This has got to be a welcome step for all !

Paula Bridge