Appendix 6: Internship Project Briefing
Scottish Ministers are committed to an integrated programme of measures to facilitate cultural change to achieve openness and transparency without blame in the provision of NHS health and social care services. Central to this is the statutory organisational duty of candour, which came into effect on 1 April 2018.
The duty of candour procedure provisions reflect the Scottish Government's commitment to place people at the heart of health and social care services in Scotland. When death or harm occurs the focus must be on personal contact with those affected; support and a process of review and action that is meaningful and informed by the principles of learning and continuous improvement. There is an organisational emphasis on staff support and training to ensure effective implementation of the organisational duty. Staff must feel that they have the necessary skills and confidence if they are to be meaningfully involved in the delivery of the duty of candour procedure.
The Openness and Learning Unit was established in September 2017 in the Scottish Government to work with stakeholders in developing an approach that is accessible and meaningful for front-line professionals and national bodies to support improvements in health and social care outcomes. The aim is to create an environment that uses knowledge to inform continuous improvement to services in a culture of openness without censure.
This is an opportunity to work closely with the Openness and Learning Unit and relevant stakeholders including NHS Boards, Primary Care Providers, government analysts and potentially patients, taking a 360 degree view on the effectiveness of the duty of candour procedure and making recommendations for improvement. The project will be focussed on reviewing and analysing responsible persons' annual reports and, with lead policy officials, meeting with relevant stakeholders to gain a deeper insight into the content of them.
The project aims to identify what difference duty of candour has made, whether it has been embedded the operational procedures of organisations and to what extent has it influenced learning and service improvements. The project also aims to identify any variation in the implementation of the procedural requirements of the organisational duty of candour procedure, and to highlight any good practice or particular areas of concern.
The project output will be a report focussed on the experience of the first year of the duty of candour, highlighting the challenges and developing some conclusions / potential recommendations for going forward. This should also focus on providing recommendations for a national approach to integrating consideration of these annual reports with broader policy commitments supporting accountability for open and transparent arrangements to implement improvements across the health and social care system in Scotland.