Public Consultation on the introduction of a statutory Duty of Candour in Northern Ireland

Consultation opened on 12 April 2021. Closing date 31 August 2021.

Summary

The Department of Health is consulting on policy proposals to enact a statutory Duty of Candour in Northern Ireland, developed by the Duty of Candour Workstream and its Being Open Subgroup as part of the Hyponatraemia Implementation Programme. The policy proposals set out an approach to implement the recommendations relating to a statutory Duty of Candour made by the Inquiry Into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths. We would welcome your views on the draft Strategy during this consultation period. Responses can be submitted online via the link below, or via email/post.

Documents

Consultation description

Overview

In January 2018, Justice John O’Hara published his report on the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths (IHRD).  His first recommendation was that a statutory Duty of Candour should be enacted in Northern Ireland and that it should apply to Healthcare Organisations and everyone working for them.  Justice O’Hara also recommended that criminal liability should attach to breach of this duty and to obstruction of another in the performance of this duty. He made further recommendations about the guidance, support and protection that should be provided for staff in order to create a more open culture.

In response, the DoH established an Implementation Programme to take forward the recommendations arising from the Inquiry and the Duty of Candour Workstream, and its Being Open Subgroup, have been responsible for developing the proposal options to address the recommendations on candour.

Through a co-production process, the Worksream and Subgroup have developed policy options for the statutory Duty of Candour and the policy framework for Being Open guidance, taking account of: research commissioned and evidence submitted; feedback from staff and service users; and input from other key stakeholders.

At this stage of the policy development we are specifically consulting on:

  1. Policy options for the statutory organisational Duty of Candour; and
  2. Policy options for the statutory individual Duty of Candour; and
  3. The policy framework for Being Open guidance.

Consultation events

The Department will host a number of virtual consultation events during the consultation period.  

  • Dentistry – “Chat with the Chair” Information Session – 6pm, Thursday 3rd June – Register here
  • Pharmacy – Chat with the Chair Information Session – 6pm, Monday 14th June 2021 – Register here
  • Independent Health and Care Providers – “Chat with the Chair” Information Session – 3pm, Wednesday 16th June – Register here
  • Western Health and Social Care Trust – “Chat with the Chair” Information Sessions – Monday 21st June 2021 – Register here
  • Southern Health and Social Care Trust – “Chat with the Chair” Information Sessions – Thursday 24th June 2021 – Register here  
  • South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust & Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Trust – “Chat with the Chair” Information Sessions – Friday 25th June 2021 – Register here
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust – “Chat with the Chair” Information Sessions – Thursday 1st July 2021 – Register here
  • Northern Health and Social Care Trust – “Chat with the Chair” Information Sessions – Friday 2nd July 2021 – Register here

In order to help people to respond to the consultation, Plain English and Easy Read versions of the policy proposals are included in the documents section above.  Please note that respondents do not have to address every question within the consultation, and can instead focus on the questions or issues that are of particular interest. 

Ways to respond

Stakeholders can respond to the consultation exercise using one of the following options:

  • Via the online survey hosted on Citizen Space (which can be accessed using the link below);
  • By completing the Consultation Questionnaire, which is available in the documents sections above.  The Questionnaire can be adapted and completed depending on which questions you wish to respond to, and submitted via email or in hard copy using the contact details listed below;
  • By downloading and completing the Consultation Response template included in the documents sections above, and submitting it using the contact details listed below; and
  • By sending an email, or writing to the address listed below, with a summary of your feedback to the consultation.

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