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Step towards greater transparency for patients and service users

Sunday, 20 December 2020

The public are invited to give their views on proposals which will ensure greater honesty and transparency for patients and service users when things go wrong with their treatment and care.

A new statutory duty of candour is included in the Manx Care Bill, requiring organisations that provide health and care services to be open and honest, as recommended by Sir Jonathan Michael’s independent health and social care review. The Bill also requires a formal procedure for when an incident occurs which has caused, or is likely to cause, harm to an individual.

The Bill completed its passage through the House of Keys and Legislative Council on Friday 18 December and a consultation on proposals for the duty of candour procedure, as set out in draft Regulations, is now open for public comment and feedback.

The consultation outlines the proposed steps that must be taken to ensure that the service user or their representative is informed when harm has occurred or is likely to occur to them as a result of the service they have received. This includes a requirement for the service user to be offered an apology and for an investigation to be carried out to gather the facts about what went wrong. Any professionals involved in the incident are to be fully debriefed and offered support services.

Among a number of topics, the consultation seeks views on the proposed requirements to be placed on service providers, the thresholds for harm that trigger the procedure, and the preferred approach for when someone can receive information about an incident on behalf of another.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:

‘Registered professionals working in the department already have a duty to address shortcomings in services with those affected. Bringing that duty at an organisational level and having a set procedure to follow will support those providing health and care services to fulfil that duty more effectively.

He added:

‘Putting the procedure in law and making it public will help people know what to expect if something has, unfortunately, gone wrong with their treatment or care.’

The Manx Care Bill sets up Manx Care as a new public body to provide, either itself or by commissioning from external agencies, all health and social care services for the Island. Meanwhile the Department of Health and Social Care will retain responsibility for policy and strategy and will become responsible for holding Manx Care to account for its delivery of the services.

The consultation on proposals for the duty of candour procedure as set out in the draft Manx Care (Duty of Candour Procedure) Regulations 2021 is now open.

The public are invited to comment until 22 January 2021.  

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