The duty of candour and how it can help you

Personal Injury Article

16 September, 2016

The duty of candour regulations came in to force 14th November 2014 for NHS bodies and in April 2015 for all other organisations.

It is a statutory duty to be open and honest with patients, or the families, when something goes wrong or could lead to significant harm in the future. What this means is that the organisation has to tell you about any incident where the care or treatment may have gone wrong and appears to have caused significant harm, or has the potential to result in significant harm in the future.

The charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) suggests this duty is potentially the biggest advance in patients' rights and patient safety in modern times, having seen what lack of honesty and cover ups do to so many families.

The aim is to encourage good practice and encourage learning to improve patient safety.

In practice, it means that a patient should be informed about what has happened in a sensitive way in person as soon as reasonably practicable. This should be followed by a written account and an apology.

There ought to be information about what will happen next, and what safety measures will be taken and what enquiries and investigations would be carried out. You should be kept informed about any investigation and its outcome.

There is a useful, educational tool for learning for those organisations involved. By and large the NHS does a fantastic job, but when serious mistakes are made, lessons must be learnt.

When Clients have come to Forbes in the past they have been upset by the lack of honesty and cover ups. In our experience where it has been adhered to the hospital has acknowledged the issue and the harm that has been caused by it. This can only help to make the experience of the patient less harrowing.

Where compensation is sought it is a useful tool in assisting to narrow the issues and shortening the litigation process.

It is hoped that it will make cover ups a thing of the past and to ensure that there is learning to improve patient safety.

If you think there has been a breach of the duty of candour we would advise to raise it with the health professional or make it a formal complaint in the first instance. If the organisation fails to comply with it they could face regulatory action from the Care Quality Commission and in serious or persisting cases, criminal prosecution.

If you are looking for any more information with regards to our services view our Clinical Negligence section. You can also contact Leonie Millard in our Clinical Negligence department via email or phone on 01254 770517. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.


13 Oct 2018

Personal Injury


A Change In The Face of Dentistry

Read the article

All the way through my claim I have had matters thoroughly explained. Leonie Millard was most helpful and helped me considerably understand anything that needed to be dealt with.

More clients

I have found all the staff and the solicitors that I have seen have been very kind, thoughtful and very helpful. I cannot praise them enough and I would not go to anyone else at all.


More clients

Easy, regular and relevant communications both written and orally.


More clients

The entire process from my claim being taken was dealt with in a highly professional and more importantly timely manner.

More clients

I have used Forbes when pursuing a claim for a friend, along with every other legal matter I have been involved in, both personally and professionally. I cannot rate Forbes highly enough.

Paul Easen
Cunningham Lindsey

More clients

My Solicitor always returned my calls promptly and set my mind at rest about all of my concerns. Thank you!

Catherine Costa

More clients

I was extremely happy with David Mayor. Absolutely excellent in every way. Thank you.

Jean Roscoe

More clients

Very satisfied with everything. Very helpful would recommend you to my friends.

Janet Ragen

More clients

Robin Bower and his secretary were very easy to talk to and always friendly.

Julie Shepherd

More clients

John was fantastic through the whole process giving clear, sound advice.

Jamie Agnew

More clients

I was very pleased with the outcome and would recommend Forbes Solicitors to anyone in the future.

John Wilson

More clients

The legal process can be difficult, complicated and very testing. I was involved in a contested claim against 2 Defendants and Leonie helped me through every step of the way through to trial.

Shaun McManus

More clients

I am happy with the way things progressed, the service was professional, quick, and my solicitor Leonie Millard was very approachable and explained things well.

Oliver Nowell

More clients

I approached John Myles when I was at rock bottom and felt that I had exhausted every possibility of proving my case.

More clients

The service I received far exceeded my expectations.

Yasmin Qureshi

More clients

As a person who is unaware of the law, I never felt at anytime overwhelmed, as your dealings with me were clear and professional. This has been very much appreciated.

Janet Stanney

More clients

"I was very happy with the service provided by Forbes, the Solicitors always kept me informed and they were very prompt and practical."

Paula Consiglilo

More clients

"Really happy with the service provided, thank you!"

Christopher Mason

More clients

Very happy & delighted with the end result, a big thank you to Leonie

Christine Sullivan

More clients

Leonie Millard is a brilliant solicitor who is always ready to help and go the extra mile

Andrew Clarkson

More clients

Make an enquiry