Intended for healthcare professionals


Call for duty of candour in Northern Ireland after doctors found unwilling to admit errors

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 01 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k551
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

The chair of an inquiry into the deaths of five children in hospitals in Northern Ireland has called for the introduction of a duty of candour after finding that doctors and managers were unwilling to admit to errors.1

In his final report into the children’s deaths Mr Justice O’Hara said recommendations on transparency and openness had “proved inadequate.”

He was damning of the attitude of some doctors and health service managers.

“It is time that the medical profession and health service managers stopped putting their own reputations and interests first and put the public interest first,” he said.

O’Hara highlighted how difficult it was to “persuade some …

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