Queens Road Partnership will fulfil its obligations to satisfy the” Statutory duty of candour” as outlined below.
The obligations associated with the statutory duty of candour are contained in regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
According to the key principles Queens Road Partnership will:
- Act in an open and transparent way in relation to care provided to its patients.
- Our staff cooperate with it to ensure the obligation is met.
- As soon as is reasonably practicable after becoming aware of a notifiable patient safety incident, we will tell the patient (or their representative) about it in person.
- The circumstances that give rise to a requirement to tell the patient or their representative about something that has gone wrong are the same as those that are required to be notified without delay to the CQC. This notification to CQC is separate from and in addition to the statutory duty of candour which requires us to keep copies of correspondence with the patient which we will do.
- We will give patient a full explanation of what is known at the time, including what further enquiries will be carried out. We will also provide an apology and keep a written record of the notification to the patient. We understand that failure to make that notification may amount to a criminal offence.
- A notifiable patient safety applies to incidents where something unintended or unexpected has occurred in the care of a patient and appears to have resulted in:
- Their death, where this relates to the incident and is not simply due to the natural progression of the illness or condition;
- Impairment (of sensory, motor or intellectual function) that has lasted or is likely to last for 28 days continuously;
- Changes to the structure of the body (for example, amputation following arterial occlusion);
- Prolonged pain or prolonged psychological harm. The pain or psychological harm must be, or likely to be, experienced continuously for 28 days or more;
- Shortening of their life expectancy;or where the patient requires treatment by a healthcare professional in order to prevent death, or the adverse outcomes listed above.
- The Practice has a statutory duty to provide reasonable support to the patient. Reasonable support could be providing an interpreter to ensure discussions are understood, or giving emotional support to the patient following a notifiable patient safety incident.
- Once the patient has been told in person about the notifiable patient safety incident, The Practice will provide the patient with a written note of the discussion, and copies of correspondence will be kept. Following the initial notification The Practice will give written notification including details of any further enquiries into the incident and their results and an apology. Although the statutory duty of candour applies to organisations, doctors, who are used to having candid discussions with their patients, are most likely to be the organisation’s representative under the statutory duty. It is important that staff cooperate with the Practice’s policies and procedures, including the requirement to alert the Practice when a notifiable patient safety incident occurs. An area of difficulty may be deciding whether an incident reaches the threshold for notification under the statutory duty. This may be confusing, as the threshold is low for the doctor’s ethical duty (any harm or distress caused to the patient) while the threshold for the statutory duty is higher and complex. Where The Practice’s Clincial governance procedures for reporting and investigating incidents are followed, it is unlikely that a notifiable patient safety incident will be overlooked. And in any event, Clinicians must always follow their ethical duty, irrespective of whether the statutory duty applies.