Organisational duty of candour procedure: first year review

Evaluation of the first year of the organisational duty of candour procedure through analysis of the annual reports that were published by NHS territorial and special boards across Scotland.

1. Key Observations 

1.1 Observations

A result of this evaluation and analysis is the suggestion of several observations that could be considered for implementation in the future of the duty of candour reporting process. These should not be considered to be aimed at any one Board or person, but are observations as a whole. 

These are; 

  • Consider liaising with stakeholders to create updated guidance around the duty of candour procedure.
  • Discuss with Boards the possibility of integrating the duty of candour reporting system with existing adverse events systems, multidisciplinary meetings, and decisions.
  • Liaise with Boards around guidance of what should be included in annual reports, including informal, interactive, and open sessions.
  • Consider developing streamlined refresher training guidance. 
  • Consider issuing a standardised annual reporting template to Boards. 
  • Consider suggesting to Boards that they issue a standardised annual reporting template to their independent contractors. 
  • Consider standardising a requirement that all annual duty of candour reports should include examples the nature of incidents that led to policy changes thereafter as a section in the report. 
  • Consider asking Boards to learn from the previous year's annual reporting.
  • Issue examples of well done, clear and transparent annual reports which evidence adherence to the reporting policy and reflect the culture of openness and learning strived for through duty of candour procedure. 
  • Consider publicising supplementary duty of candour materials such as a checklist. 



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