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.