18 March 2014

An independent review has concluded that healthcare organisations must usher in a new culture of candour to ensure patients and their families are told honestly and openly about any harm that has been caused and how it will be put it right.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, to undertake a review looking into enhancing candour in the NHS in the wake of the Mid Staffs Inquiry.

The main recommendation to come from the review, which is available at http://bit.ly/1iK0oKJ, is that an environment that allows staff to be trained and supported in admitting errors, reporting them and learning fully from mistakes should be encouraged.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) welcomed the publication of the report.

"This review has taken on board a great deal of the evidence submitted by the RCN and other organisations and rightly focused on the importance of organisations creating a culture in which staff are supported and trained to be open with patients when things go wrong," he said.

Dr Carter also said that the RCN supported the recommendation that the duty of candour should apply to all cases of "significant harm", and not just cases which result in serious permanent injury or death.