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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Good News about the 'Duty of Candour'

You may remember I wrote last month about Will Powell and others campaigning for a Duty of Candour (Robbie's Law) with the aim of reducing medical errors and associated cover-ups. Some of you may have signed the petition for which I gave a link. - I am delighted to report a good outcome to this long campaign:

AvMA PRESS RELEASE For immediate release

In its response to the NHS Future Forum report published today, the Government has finally committed itself to a Duty of Candour in healthcare - an enforceable duty to be open and honest with patients or their families when things go wrong. Although the detail of how the new duty will work is not yet known, it is described as a new contractual duty on healthcare providers. Additionally, the Government has said that it will give legal force to patients' rights in the NHS Constitution, which also covers being honest about mistakes.

Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of AvMA, said:
"This is great news - potentially the biggest breakthrough in patients' rights and patient safety since the creation of the NHS. The devil will be in the detail. The duty must be clearly set out in statute and organisations who fail to comply must be held to account. But we are extremely grateful to the Government for having listened. This new duty should be known as "Robbie's Law" in honour of Robbie Powell, the young boy who became the symbol of our campaign and whose family have done more than anyone to raise awareness for the need for change".

Blackdog has written more fully about this.

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