Duty of Candour
The organisational duty of candour procedure is a legal duty which sets out how organisations should tell those affected that an unintended or unexpected incident appears to have caused harm or death. They are required to apologise and to meaningfully involve them in a review of what happened.
When the review is complete, the organisation should agree any actions required to improve the quality of care, informed by the principles of learning and continuous improvement.
They should tell the person who appears to have been harmed (or those acting on their behalf) what those actions are and when they will happen.
The duty of candour procedure provisions reflect our commitment to place people at the heart of health and social care services in Scotland.
We recognise that when unexpected or unintended incidents occur during the provision of treatment or care, openness and transparency is fundamental. This promotes a culture of learning and continuous improvement.
We have produced guidance on the implementation of duty of candour for all organisations that provide health services, care services or social work services in Scotland.
A Duty of Candour e-learning module has been produced by NHS Education for Scotland, the Scottish Social Services Council, the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Relevant staff should be encouraged to complete the module which takes no longer than an hour.
- list of services to whom the Duty of Candour applies (January 2017)
- list of organisations involved in the implementation of Duty of Candour (January 2017)
- Duty of Candour (Scotland) Regulations 2018
- letter to services regarding implementation of Duty of Candour procedures (February 2017)
- Duty of Candour: frequently asked questions (October 2018)
- Duty of Candour factsheets
- Duty of Candour checklist
- Duty of Candour leaflets
- NHSScotland model complaints handling procedures
- General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council Professional Duty of Candour guidance
- Duty of Candour Monitoring and Reporting Group's Final Report (March 2019)