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How can professional regulation encourage healthcare professionals and social workers to be more candid when care goes wrong?

BASW have been asked as a key stakeholder to comment on the proposals to introduce a “Duty of candour” to those who provide health services. The consultation arose from the Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry which recommended that:

  • Where poor care has caused, or may have caused, death or serious harm1 to a patient, the patient or their representative should be fully informed of the incident and offered appropriate support.
  • Statutory duties should be introduced that require healthcare providers2 and professionals to be candid about treatment or care they believe or suspect has caused death or serious injury to a patient.
  • In certain circumstances it should be a criminal offence to breach these duties or obstruct another from performing them.