Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

New ‘duty of candour’ rules instruct medics to admit mistakes


New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

Known as a “duty of candour”, the guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology. In April, the NHS introduced a rule that told NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible. Now the same rule is to be applied to individual medics.

Say Sorry

Detailed guidance makes clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health. The guidance also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology. For the avoidance of doubt, it even spells out words that such an apology might include, such as “I am sorry”. The guidance was drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , , , ,

NHS finally apologises to family eight years after man’s death at scandal hit hospital

The family of a man who died ­eight years ago at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital have finally had an apology from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Mr Hunt has also offered to meet ­relatives of John Moore-Robinson to discuss their concerns after an inquest found a “continuous series of ­shortcomings” contributed to his death. John’s family – who have campaigned with the Sunday Mirror for a safer NHS since his death in April 2006 – sent a copy of the coroner’s report to the Health ­Secretary demanding that medical staff responsible for his death are held to account. He replied: “I am sorry for your loss, for the failings of the NHS and that the system let you down so badly when you sought answers and redress.”

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