A new legal duty on all health care providers – including NHS and private hospitals, care homes and dental surgeries – to disclose information about incidents which cause patients moderate or significant harm will come into force in October.
Langleys Solicitors welcomes the full “duty of candour” along with a raft of other measures to reduce avoidable harm to patients announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Langleys, based in Lincoln and York, supported the call by leading charity, AvMA – Action against Medical Accidents – for a full unrestricted duty of candour to be made law.
It will apply to all health care providers who register with the Care Quality Commission.
Helen Rundle, a solicitor at Langleys who specialises in medical negligence cases, said:
“A full duty of candour represents one of the biggest advances in patients’ rights and patient safety in the history of the NHS.
“We are pleased to see the health secretary agreeing the recommendation for a full unrestricted duty of candour which will cover not only incidents involving serious injury or death but also moderate harm.
“Tribute must be paid to Robbie Powell whose family have fought for years with the support of AvMA for a duty of candour following the sad death of Robbie and the difficulties the family has faced in uncovering the truth about Robbie’s death.
“The campaign for the duty of candour has been aptly named ‘Robbies Law’.”
A report prepared for the Government by Professor Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir David Dalton, chief executive of Salford Royal Hospital had recommended that the duty of candour threshold should be extended to cover events where significant harm is caused.