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Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Lawyers welcome new duty to apologise

12 Nov 2014
APIL news

A new legal duty on medical and social care staff to apologise and tell patients when something has gone wrong, has been welcomed by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

“Honesty and transparency is a huge step forward as the majority of those injured just want an explanation of what went wrong and why,alongside the knowledge that lessons have been learned,” said APIL president John Spencer.

“People want answers, they want to hear the words ‘I’m sorry’and to find out the truth, but often they face a bureaucratic brick wall.”

“Many people look for something positive after a tragedy.The knowledge that whatever has gone wrong will not be repeated, thereby sparing others, can be a comfort to them.”

The Association also welcomes the news that this duty will eventually be a requirement for all health and social care providers in England and Wales and not just NHS providers.

The statutory duty of candour is expected to apply to all NHS bodies this month, and it is intended that the duty will be extended to other bodies from April 2015. 


Notes to editors:

  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
  • For more information contact APIL's press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e:, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e:
  • Visit the association's website at
  • Follow @APIL on Twitter:

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More past press releases

Head of Public Affairs
Lorraine Gwinnutt
0115 943 5400

Communications Manager
Jane Hartwell
0115 943 5416

Press & Communications Officer
Lizzy Freeman
0115 943 5431