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The organisational Duty of Candour is now active!

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Pharmacists have long been required as part of their professional obligations to be open and honest, particularly when things go wrong. However, new legislation in effect from the start of this week now places a duty on organisations including community pharmacies to respond in a certain way when unintended or unexpected harm occurs. Much like the recent changes to the handling of complaints, this is designed to ensure a consistent experience for anyone who is harmed in the course of a health or social care intervention, regardless of the setting.

These new requirements will benefit contractors and employees alike, as the expectations and processes to be followed are absolutely clear.

If you haven’t already done so, the NES eLearning module gives a great overview of what is involved and makes for an effective staff training tool. There are also some excellent and concise factsheets which you should familiarise yourself with the Duty of Candour procedure, how apologies fit into your obligations and also some information about the monitoring and reporting involved. Once you are ready, the Scottish Government has also produced a handy checklist to follow in the event that you need to activate the Duty of Candour procedure.

Your Health Board may be in touch with you regarding their local arrangements, which should reflect the requirements laid out in the factsheets.