What is the Duty of Candour?

The definition of Candour is “being open and honest.” Menopause Expert is committed to delivering safe, high quality care. However we also recognise that healthcare is complex and situations can change rapidly and unexpectedly. It is a statutory CQC fundamental standard of care.

On occasion things do not go to plan and despite our best intentions and safety checks being in place, harm can occur. A legal Duty of Candour reinforces the ‘Being Open’ principles that we already deliver. The duty asks that healthcare providers ensure that clients are told openly, honestly and in a timely manner when mistakes happen, which are believed to have caused significant harm.

Being open involves:

  • Swiftly providing a truthful account detailing clearly what we know about the incident.
  • Apologising that harm was caused.
  • Providing support to clients and/ or people involved or affected by the incident.
  • Investigating why the incident happened and sharing the investigation findings with you.
  • Communicating any learning for Menopause Expert from your experience and explaining how we plan to prevent it happening again.

Which Incidents are affected by Duty of Candour?

Duty of Candour applies where there has been a “notifiable safety incident” (an unintended or unexpected event which leads to harm of a client receiving care) which has resulted in one or more of the following categories of harm:

Harm maybe defined as injury (physical or psychological) disease, suffering, disability or death.

Moderate harm means an incident has occurred resulting in a moderate increase in treatment and/or which caused significant, but not permanent harm -

A moderate increase in treatment includes:

  • Unplanned surgery
  • Unplanned re-admission
  • Prolonged episode of care (4-15 days extra care)
  • Extra time in hospital or as an outpatient
  • Cancelling of treatment because of harm caused
  • Transfer to another area such as intensive care

Severe harm means a patient safety incident that appears to have resulted in permanent harm (permanent lessening of bodily functions, sensory, motor, physiological or intellectual, including removal of wrong limb or organ or brain damage)

Psychological harm means psychological harm which is experienced or is likely to be experienced for a continuous period of at least 28 days.

Death of a client  The next of kin and/or family will be informed of the incident. The coroner’s report will be provide a key source of information that will help to complete the detail of the event leading up to the incident.

What can I expect to happen?

  1. Initial notification

A senior member of staff from your healthcare team will contact you and, where possible, meet with you to notify you of the incident. We hope to do this as soon as possible, but initial notification should happen within 10 working days from the point that we realise an incident has occurred.

This designated person will ensure that during the initial discussion you are informed of any details relating to the incident that we are aware of at that time. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and make comments that will be part of our investigation, as your view of the incident is important to us.

You can provide questions or comments when you meet with us via letter, email or over the phone. A review of the care received will then be carried out to agree the appropriate level of investigation to be undertaken.

  1. Investigation

An investigation will then be completed within 60 working days, to fully review the incident and a report will be written. The final investigation findings will be shared with you in writing with an opportunity for a meeting to discuss the report, incident and any outcome or learning points for Menopause Expert. The outcome of the report will be shared with you within 10 working days of the investigation being completed.

We would like to ensure that clients and their carers are fully supported during this process, so if you wish your family or other carer to also be present during any discussions, please let us know as soon as possible.

What treatment and care will I receive after the incident?

You can expect to continue to receive all future treatment with respect, compassion and dignity.

Nevertheless, should you wish to receive treatment from another team or organisation , we would be happy to discuss this with you, and facilitate a transfer of care.

Can I Complain?

Duty of candour does not affect your right to complain. You can make a formal complaint if you are not happy with any aspect of your care. To make a formal complaint you can contact Menopause Expert by email or in writing. The complaints policy and procedure can be found here