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Updated CQC guidance on duty of candour

The CQC has updated its guidance for England providers on Regulation 20 - The Duty of Candour.

The regulation puts a legal duty on all health and social care providers to be open and transparent with people using services, and their families, in relation to their treatment and care. It applies to every health and social care provider that CQC regulates.

The guidance sets out some specific actions that providers must take when a notifiable safety incident occurs. These include:

  • Informing the people affected about the incident
  • Offering reasonable support
  • Providing truthful information and a timely apology.

The updated guidance gives a more specific explanation of what is defined as a notifiable safety incident and examples covering a range of scenarios. In addition, it makes clear that the apology required to fulfil the duty of candour does not mean accepting liability and will not affect a provider’s indemnity cover.

Our advice on this is contained within our Safeguarding Patients advice note and, for Expert members, our adverse incidence protocol is also useful.