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New guidance on duty of candour  

The requirement for providers to comply with the duty of candour is set out in Regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

Providers will be well aware of the requirement, when a notifiable safety incident occurs, to:

  • inform the patient affected as soon as reasonably practicable and provide reasonable support
  • provide a truthful account of the facts known at the time the patient is informed about the incident and summarise the further enquiries
  • provide an apology

It is an offence for a provider to fail to comply with the duty of candour and CQC has prosecuted providers previously in relation to this.

CQC has recently updated its guidance and in particular has provided additional information in relation to what constitutes a notifiable safety incident. In summary this must be an incident that:

  • is unintended or unexpected
  • has occurred during the provision of a regulated activity
  • has or may result in the death of, or severe or moderate harm to the person receiving care.

The guidance can be found here.

The guidance also reiterates that apologising is not an admission of liability.



This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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