At last something's being done to help patients who suffer when things go wrong during an operation

I listened to a radio programme on radio 4 called Tell me the Truth. It was about new legislation for when accidents go wrong during operations but the surgeon refuses to admit there was a problem. I've copied and pasted it, as I know I'm sadly not alone in this happening to me. To have the surgeon acknowledge and apologise and try to do something to help rather than cover up would be amazing.

I listened to a radio 4 programme called Tell me the Truth. It was about new legislation for patients who have been fighting for closure but surgeons refuse to accept responsibility.27.11.14: HISTORY MADE TODAY AS "DUTY OF CANDOUR" BECOMES LAW - MORE ACTION NEEDED TO MAKE NHS COVER UPS A THING OF THE PAST

Today marks an historic moment for the NHS in England. The statutory Duty of Candour - a legal duty to be open and honest with patients or their families when things go wrong that can cause harm – comes into force.

Action against Medical Accidents (“AvMA” – the charity for patient safety & justice) has campaigned for such a duty for two decades and together with the recommendation of such a duty from Sir Robert Francis following the Mid Staffordshire public inquiry, helped persuade Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to agree to it. Successive Governments had refused to go as far as making honesty when things go wrong a statutory requirement. The Duty of Candour applies to all NHS trusts and will be regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has severe sanctions available for NHS trusts who do not comply including, ultimately, criminal sanctions.

6 Replies

  • That is fantastic to hear - I hope our surgeons are aware of this! It makes it so much easier to bear if our suffering it is at the very least acknowledged and apologised for. I honestly can't believe that these surgeons are allowed to carry on operating, how many other people are they damaging every week?? If they could accept what they have done and admit to it, you would hope it would make them better doctors and more careful surgeons. They should be trained on what went wrong to prevent it happening again. And I hope the complaints procedure can be simplified to. I have eventually gone to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, but it takes so long. However, I have faith that they will investigate fairly and objectively.

  • Have a listen to the radio 4 programme Doctor Tell the Truth if you can. I don't know how long ago the programme was aired. If you can do catch uLp which I did only a few days ago, it was just so enlightening. I've actually written to Benenden to say I'm thrilled there's new legislation and would like them to take note, although they're a private hospital they take on NHS patients.

    I'll just quote a bit from the programme:

    AvMA chief executive, Peter Walsh, said:

    "This is potentially the biggest advance in patients' rights and patient safety since the creation of the NHS. For decades the NHS has frowned upon cover-ups but has been prepared to tolerate them. A lack of honesty when things go wrong adds insult to injury and causes unnecessary pain and suffering for everyone.

    I hope you can get to listen to it.


  • I need that here in the usa f Arkansa

  • Spell bad I'm sleepy we need that here in the usa in Arkansas

  • I listened to the two progammes this morning. I think the system of transparency is the only way forward. If something goes wrong, tell the patient and help them to get the treatment they need to correct the problem. The system started in America, and they found that far fewer people sued the doctors who were open and honest.

    It saves patients going through what they call the 'second trauma' of seeing doctors who don't believe you have a problem, having to fight to be believed and get further treatment and having to go through the legal system. My operating consultant told me he would not see me anymore as he can only off emotional support and that is not his job. He help up his hands and said he had not done anything to cause my pain and told me that 'people like me' end up having multiple surgeries to try and cure the pain..I just have to 'accept it'. Two years later I have a diagnosis but have had to fight for referrals and even pay privately to get answers. If he had turned round to me and said, it appears some damage was done, I can't explain it, it has never happened before and I am devastated for you and me...let me help you get specialist referrals and see if we can get you rights again, I would not be making complaints to the hospital and with the PHSO.

    I really hope this 'Duty of Candour' is taken seriously in this country. It can only make things better for doctors and patients.

    Really worth listening to the programme, thanks Paulyne for posting.

  • Thank you so much Paulyne for posting this.

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