Duty of Candour Policy

1. Introduction

South Wales Medical Services (SWMS) is committed to maintaining open and honest communication with patients and their families. This Duty of Candour Policy outlines our responsibility to be transparent in our interactions, particularly when there are unexpected incidents or adverse events in patient care.

2. Purpose

2.1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that SWMS fulfills its duty of candour obligations as outlined in relevant regulations and guidelines, promoting transparency, accountability, and trust in our healthcare services.

3. Scope

3.1. This policy applies to all healthcare professionals, staff, and stakeholders involved in the provision of patient care and services within SWMS.

4. Duty of Candour

4.1. Duty of candour is the responsibility to inform patients, or their families if applicable, when unexpected incidents or adverse events occur during their care.

4.2. SWMS is committed to providing timely, clear, and honest communication to affected patients or their families regarding such incidents.

5. Key Principles

5.1. Promptness: SWMS will promptly initiate communication with the affected patient or their family once an unexpected incident or adverse event is identified.

5.2. Transparency: All relevant information about the incident will be shared transparently, ensuring that the patient or their family understands what happened and its implications.

5.3. Empathy and Support: Communication will be delivered with empathy and sensitivity, providing emotional support to patients and families during difficult times.

5.4. Accuracy: Information shared will be accurate and factual, avoiding speculation or incomplete information.

5.5. Respect for Patient’s Rights: SWMS will respect the patient’s right to receive information about their care and treatment and involve them in decisions related to their care.

6. Process

6.1. When an unexpected incident or adverse event occurs, the following steps will be taken:

  • Identification: The incident will be promptly identified and assessed to determine whether it falls under the scope of duty of candour.
  • Communication: The patient, or their family if applicable, will be informed about the incident, its implications, and steps taken to address it.
  • Documentation: Accurate and detailed records of the incident and communication will be documented in the patient’s medical records.

7. Support for Healthcare Professionals

7.1. Healthcare professionals involved in duty of candour conversations will receive training and support to ensure effective and compassionate communication.

8. Learning and Improvement

8.1. Information from duty of candour incidents will be used to identify areas for improvement in patient care and safety.

9. Review and Update

9.1. This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with legal and regulatory requirements.

10. Conclusion

SWMS is committed to maintaining transparency and accountability in patient care. This Duty of Candour Policy reflects our dedication to open and honest communication with patients and their families during unexpected incidents or adverse events, fostering trust and integrity in our healthcare services.


Simon Garratt
Managing Director
18th August 2023