Organisational duty of candour: guidance

This guidance focuses on the implementation of the legal duty of candour procedure for health, care or social work services.

Annex A

The Organisational Duty of Candour Checklist

Step 1: Identifying and Contacting the Relevant Person

  • Do you know who the relevant person is in respect of this incident?
  • Is their preferred method of communication already known? If not, this needs to be determined and noted.
  • Has it been possible to make contact with them? If not, a note should be made of the attempts that have made to make contact.

Step 2: Notify Relevant Person

  • Provide the relevant person with an account of the incident and what actions are going to be taken. (Note that if it is more than a month since the incident need to explain why).

Step 3: Arrange a meeting

  • Arrange a meeting – and provide the person with the opportunity to ask questions in advance of the meeting.
  • At the meeting (or through communication if not desired):
    • Apologise, if not already happened.
    • Tell the person what happened.
    • Tell them what further steps are being taken.
    • Give the relevant person the opportunity to ask further questions and express their views.
  • Tell them about any other processes that might be on-going.
  • Provide them with a note of the meeting and details on how to contact a person within the organisation.

Step 4: Carry out a review

  • Start a review – remember to seek the views of the relevant person.
  • Prepare a report – to include the manner it has been carried out.
  • Ensure that report focus is on improving quality and sharing learning.
  • Report to include the actions taken in respect of the duty of candour procedure.
  • Offer to send the relevant person a copy of the review report – remember to let them know of any further actions subsequently.
  • Make sure that a written apology is offered.

Throughout: Support and Assistance for Relevant Person & Staff

  • Consider and give relevant person support or assistance available to them.
  • Staff to receive training and guidance on all requirements of the procedure.
  • Employees to be provided with details of services or support relating to their needs arising from the incident.


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