February 2015

Consultation on Proposals to Introduce a Statutory Duty of Candour for Health and Social Care Services

The Society’s Health and Medical Law Committee submitted its response to the above Scottish Government consultation.  The committee welcomes the policy objectives and positive intentions of this proposal, and highlights transparency and information sharing and support as two main themes of the consultation.  A duty of candour already exists as an ethical obligation imposed by governing bodies of the various individual healthcare professionals, so the committee is unclear what these proposals will add to existing policy and guidance.  The Consultation also highlights existing problems towards a consistency in approach.  The committee stated that while it recognised the value of a consistent approach, given the breadth of provisions contained with the frame of health and social care, that this would be challenging for organisations to enforce. The committee also envisages that there may also be issues pertaining to interpretation and application especially where the regulations rely on subjective assessments. Compliance may therefore be resource intensive and difficult to monitor. 

The full response can be found on our website