NHS trusts must have legal duty to be open about harms to patients, Francis tells MPs

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 12 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f988
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The cost to the NHS from litigation will get “bigger and bigger” unless the health service tells patients what went wrong and settles their claims as early as possible, Robert Francis QC has told the parliamentary health select committee.

The chairman of the public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust called on the government to implement his 290 recommendations, including a statutory duty of candour to patients. He was quizzed by MPs on 12 February as part of their inquiry into his report.

The annual NHS bill for compensation and legal costs breached £1bn for the first time in 2011-12, when it surged to £1.28bn (€1.5bn; $2bn).

Francis said that he recognised concerns about what effect a duty of candour …

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