Duty of Candour

A new statutory Duty of Candour became effective from October 1, 2014. This requires hospitals to ensure that patients and their families and carers are informed of medical errors causing moderate, severe harm or death and provided with appropriate support.

To meet the requirements of the Duty of Candour at Royal Surrey, we must:

  • Ensure all staff act in an open and transparent way with our patients and their relatives or carers.
  • Tell patients and their relatives or carers as soon as possible if a safety incident has occurred, including what the incident was.
  • Provide patients and their relatives or carers with the appropriate support following any safety incident.
  • Offer an apology and let the patients and their relatives or carers know what we are going to be doing about the incident.
  • Follow this up by giving the same information in writing, and provide an update on the enquiries.

Our commitment to you, our patients

If something happens we are committed to informing you, the patient, and involving, as appropriate in the steps that will be taken to address the incident. We will:

  • Ask how much you and your relatives or carers would like to be involved in the investigation process;
  • Review your medical and nursing notes;
  • Talk to the staff involved in your care;
  • Identify the cause(s) of the incident;
  • Share our findings with you, your family or carers;
  • Share learning and improvements across the Trust;
  • Let you and your family or carers ask any questions.

A member of the investigation team will meet with you to talk to you about what went wrong. This will usually be the consultant or nurse looking after you. Your family, a carer or friend can attend this meeting and be part of these conversations.

The level of investigation we do will depend on the seriousness of the incident and may take up to 60 working days (twelve weeks). We will keep you and your family or carers informed of our progress along the way.

If you have any questions or want to raise a concern about the duty of candour process with the Trust then please contact Ian Brandon, Head of Patient Safety & Quality.