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Duty of candour

Peter Ellis - Author Hannah Ellis First published: Last updated:

The duty of candour was introduced in law as regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This was in response to some of the shortcomings in being honest with patients and families identified in the Francis Report concerning the failing at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Francis, 2013), and the report’s subsequent recommendation of a statutory duty of candour.

Candour involves being open and honest with people and is best undertaken when a healthcare setting encourages a culture of transparency and accountability (Griffith, 2020).

Nurses should understand the meaning and importance of the duty of candour to undertake their roles safely and in line with legal and professional obligations.

This article is part of a series on nursing ethics. This article provides an overview of the duty of candour in nursing practice and should not be used as a legal guide.

The duty

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Peter Ellis

Hannah Ellis