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The Duty of Candour

The Duty of Candour is our legal responsibility to be open and transparent with individuals and their families when something goes wrong with their care. It is part of our commitment to placing the safety and needs of those we serve above everything else, to ensuring we learn from mistakes, and to improving our health and care services. 

The Duty of Candour duty extends to all service areas and all staff who are involved in an individual’s care.  This page is designed to support Manx Care and DHSC staff, Isle of Man patients, carers, relatives, and anyone affected by an adverse incident connected to one of our services understand what the Duty of Candour means in practice for them.  Where third parties are contracted by Manx Care to deliver services, this process applies equally to those organisations and their employees, unless they have an equivalent duty in their local jurisdiction, in which case the regulations and procedures in that jurisdiction will apply.

The introduction of the Duty of Candour was one of the core recommendations of Sir Jonathan Michael’s Independent Review of our health and social care system and became law as part of the Manx Care Act 2021.

Health and social care professionals already have a duty to be open and honest with patients when things go wrong.  This duty is as described in the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care Duty of Candour and joint General Medical Council and Nursing & Midwifery Council document 'Openness and honesty when things go wrong: the professional duty of candour'. 

Section 11 sub-section 2 of the Manx Care Act makes this also the responsibility of all organisations involved in health and social care on behalf of the Island.  The Act states:

'The Department must, by regulations, make provision as to the information to be provided by a relevant service provider in a case where an incident of a specified description, or a prescribed degree of severity, affecting a service user’s safety occurs in the course of the service user being provided with a health service or a social care service.'

Further to this Act of Tynwald, the Manx Care (Duty of Candour Procedure) Regulations 2021 set out the regulations which apply to Manx Care from 1st April 2021 in relation to upholding our new legal Duty of Candour.  We recognise that providing health and care services and treatments involves a level of risk, and that is why the “informed consent” of service users is so important.  However, the Duty of Candour reflects the need for us to be open and honest when something happens during the course of delivering care which is unintended and / or unexpected and causes harm to a service user.  This includes our responsibility to:

  • inform the individual (or, where appropriate, the person's advocate, carer or family) when something has gone wrong
  • apologise to them
  • offer an appropriate remedy or support to put matters right (if possible)
  • explain what has happened and understand the impact
  • conduct a thorough review of the incident
  • share the findings with those affected
  • ensure any lessons are applied to improve the experience and outcomes of health and care services in the future. 

For a copy of our latest policies, explaining when and how the Duty of Candour applies and what to expect should something go wrong, please see the downloadable document. 

Please note that the Duty of Candour does not stand alone, and is part of our broader clinical and care governance systems, designed to support the improvement of our health and care system.  This policy should be read in the context of our broader processes for managing serious incidents, complaints, and for driving improvement.  

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