Summary: 

  • The Regulators’ response to the Francis Report and the adoption of “A professional duty of candour”
  • The development of guidance to healthcare professionals.
  • The impact of “the professional duty of candour” on disciplinary proceedings: some practical tips on:
    • Rule 7 responses.
    • Witness statements: Should they be provided and if so when?
    • Giving evidence at a disciplinary hearing. 

Introduction

Robert Francis QC (as he then was) opened chapter 22 of his February 2013 inquiry report in the following way:

“Openness, transparency and candour are necessary attributes of organisations providing healthcare services to the public. There is strong evidence based on the actions in particular of the Trust and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that insufficient observance of these requirements has been prevalent..."

The report commended us, as the only set of chambers featured, as “stand-out” in terms of our success in “facilitating a partnership between clients and Chambers and introducing initiatives to help clients…”.

Click here to read the full report.

We are delighted to have been named Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Set of the Year at the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2015.

The awards will be presented to the winners at a networking dinner on 10th November 2015. Click here for further information.

1.Where an individual doctor has provided information pursuant to his employer/provider’s duty under the Regulated Activities Regulations 2014, would the subsequent deployment of that information in criminal proceedings offend any individual doctor’s claim to the right against self-incrimination and/or violate Article 6.?  This short paper seeks to set  out the European perspective. 

Article 6 states:

In the determination of… any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair….hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Serjeants’ Inn Chambers hosted an evening with Sir Robert Francis QC on Thursday 24 September 2015 to discuss and reflect upon the impact of the Duty of Candour, as recommended in the 2013 Francis Report, upon practice in a variety of healthcare areas, including inquests.  

Cecily White and Paul Spencer considered the impact in the Coronial jurisdiction of the rather snappily named “Regulation 20 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014” (ie the Duty of Candour regulations).  Their paper is summarised below.