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Candour in the wind

The NHS's proposed duty to inform patients of a right to a remedy would be a step in the right direction, says Ian Pryer

17 May 2013

The Mid-Staffs NHS scandal was undoubtedly a watershed moment in the public perception of our health service. The public inquiry earlier this year into the hospital's failings found that at least 1,200 patients had died due to poor care and mismanagement. The report by Robert Francis QC published in February revealed that patients were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days - so desperate that they had to drink water from vases. Such revelations have changed the public's relationship with our health service. Unfortunately Staffordshire is not a one ?off. The Care Quality Commission has concerns about some 20 per cent of our hospitals in England and plans to carry out on-the-spot checks.

The Francis report's call for a duty of candour - if it's ever implemented - will mean that any patient harmed by the provision of a healthcare service is "informed of the fact and an appropriate remedy is offered, regardless of whether a complaint has been ...

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