Under new proposals, the NHS will have a legal duty to be honest about mistakes.

The move is one of 290 recommendations made by Robert Francis QC who chaired the public inquiry into Stafford Hospital, where routine neglect and abuse took place between 2005 and 2008.

To ensure such harrowing events do not happen again, the government has announced it will enforce measures to put patients at the heart of the NHS. Key to this overhaul of the system is the statutory duty of the NHS to be honest about mistakes. This is known as a duty of candour.

However, it is not yet been revealed whether individual doctors and nurses will be criminally accountable for covering up mistakes, as Mr Francis QC recommended, because the government is concerned about creating a “culture of fear.”

Don Redding, policy director of the patient group National Voices, welcomes the new duty of candour, saying: “in cases where patients have been harmed or worse, both senior managers and their legal advisers have generally decided their first duty is to the interests of the trust. This new legal duty will rebalance that.”

Have you been harmed because of NHS negligence?

If you have been harmed because of negligent medical care within the NHS, please get in touch with us at Glynns to discuss your options, as you could be in a position to take action against the Trust responsible for your pain and suffering.

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