By John Tingle
Last September, the first ever prosecution of a National Health Service (NHS) trust for failure to comply with the regulation concerning duty of candor was adjudicated.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust was ordered to pay a total of £12,565 after admitting it failed to disclose details relating to a surgical procedure and to apologize following the death of a 91-year-old woman.
Duties of candor require that patients be informed of adverse events as soon as possible after they occur. These duties serve as mechanisms to help balance power dynamics in health care and to advance patient rights. In England, duties of candor are contained in the professional codes of ethics of doctors and nurses, and in statutory regulations.