Duty of Candour

03 April 2018


As you may be aware, the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 1 April 2016 and introduced new organisational duty of candour on health, care and social work services which is effective from 1 April 2018.

The overall purpose of the new duty is to ensure that organisations are open, honest and supportive when there is an unexpected or unintended incident resulting in death or harm, as defined in the Act. This duty requires organisations to follow a duty of candour procedure which will include notifying the person affected, apologising and offering a meeting to give an account of what happened.

Key principles of this are as follow:

  • Providing health, care and social work services is associated with risk and from time to time there are unintended or unexpected events resulting in death or harm
  • When this happens, people want to be told honestly what happened, what will be done in response, and to know what improvements will be made to stop this happening again to someone else in the future
  • There is a need to improve the focus on support, training and transparent disclosure of learning to influence improvement and support the development of a learning culture across services
  • Being candid promotes accountability for safer systems, better engages staff in improvement efforts and engenders greater trust from patients

Whilst on your training programme, you will be subject to the duty of candour obligations of the organisation you are on placement within.

A guide for staff and providers of health, social care and social work services can be found through the Knowledge Network here