Duty of Candour

The new duty of candour will affect all care, social work and health services except childminders. From April 2018, services will need to take specific steps when a serious adverse event happens. They will need to let the people affected know, offer to meet with them, and apologise. This is an important part of being open with people who experience care, and also learning from things that go wrong.

The legislation requires all care services to complete a short annual report, showing how many times they followed the duty of candour and what the learning has been. The Scottish Government asked the Care Inspectorate to chair a small working group looking at how the reporting should take place, and what kind of monitoring should happen.

The group comprised key representatives from health and social care and was chaired by Rami Okasha, Executive Director of Strategy and Improvement at the Care Inspectorate. It concluded its work in February 2017.

It made a series of recommendations and you can read the report here. For regulated services, the group recommended that the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Services should try to integrate the reporting and monitoring into existing notification processes, to make it simple for providers. Both organisations are now looking into that. 

The group recommended that health boards and social work departments should be free to select the best way to record information, and provided a series of template reports showing how annual reports should be made.

The Scottish Government has responded to the report and you can read its response here.

For more information on the duty of candour, there is lots of helpful information on the Scottish Government website here.

The Scottish Government is also developing regulations and guidance to support the implementation.’