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Contractual ‘duty of candour’ to drive a more open NHS culture

 

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Contractual ‘duty of candour’ to drive a more open NHS culture

New rules to toughen transparency in NHS organisations and increase patient confidence have been announced by health minister Dr Dan Poulter following a public consultation.

The government will create regulations that require the NHS Commissioning Board to include a contractual duty of openness in all commissioning contracts from April 2013.

This means that NHS organisations will be required to tell patients if their safety has been compromised, apologise and ensure that lessons are learned to prevent them from being repeated. Although all NHS organisations are currently expected to be open about mistakes, there is no contractual duty to hold them to account when this does not happen.