01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Duty of Candour can bring honesty, sympathy and openness needed to vastly improve health care

Duty of Candour can bring honesty, sympathy and openness needed to vastly improve health care

By Simon Wilson, medical negligence expert and senior solicitor at Neil Hudgell Solicitors

When something goes wrong during medical care, the worst possible reaction of professionals such as doctors, nurses and midwives is to try and cover up their mistakes.

Of course, admitting to making an error which could have life-changing consequences for an individual will never be easy.

In fact, it will always undoubtedly be a hugely difficult moment for any medical professional to handle.

Let’s not forget, those in the medical professions go into theirs job because they want to use their skills to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives, and ultimately, make people better. Making such a mistake will be devastating.

However, a failure to admit mistakes only serves to cause further harm, firstly to the patient themselves, as the true picture of their care, and causes of resulting problems, could remain unknown and hinder further medical treatment.

But longer term, and on a wider scale, it can prevent thorough investigations into why such errors are made, how they can be addressed, and importantly prevented in the future, with key lessons learned and improvements made.

It is for those reasons that we at Hudgell Solicitors, as experts in handling claims involving medical negligence, welcome new guidelines for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

Known as the “duty of candour”, the new guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology.

It was introduced as a rule for NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible, in April, is now being applied to individual medics.

The guidance, drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.

It makes it clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health. It also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology.

The Francis Report into the scandal at Stafford Hospital, in which hundreds of patients suffered poor care and neglect, exposed how fears over damage to the reputation of the Mid Staffs Trust led to a lethal culture of silence and cover-up when mistakes were made.

It is something we still see too often in the many cases we handle.

Whilst we don’t suggest that ‘cover-ups’ are taking place and that doctors and NHS bodies are deliberately providing misleading information, we certainly see far too many cases where it is difficult to get full information and clarity over what exactly has happened, and what really went wrong.

Perhaps one of the most interesting points in the new guidance is that it even spells out words that a face-to-face apology might include, such as “I am sorry”.

This may seem a small issue to many – especially when mistakes can have a devastating impact on the quality of life for the individual affected – but we see in each and every case just how important an apology is.

The lack of an apology is often the issue which, long after a case has been settled and damages agreed, sits badly with the families we deal with.

Through our support, clients benefit from superb rehabilitation support and excellent compensation settlements, but without an apology – and that acceptance of mistakes being made – it always feels as though there has been little thought, consideration or sympathy. Families feel they have been paid off with no second thought.

With the Duty of Candour now running through healthcare, hopefully sympathy and understanding will be placed at the top of the agenda, ultimately leading to greater honesty, transparency, and standards in medical care across the UK.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Simon Wilson

Senior Solicitor, Clinical Negligence

sw@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly

"Friendly, supportive and professional, couldn't ask for more."

Mr Adrian Fisher

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

A first class service with a heart too

"I never had claimed before and was quite apprehensive about dealing with claims solicitors as… "

M Sheikh

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 455 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90