Jeremy Hyam and Kate Beattie acted for AvMA in a challenge to the duty of candour regulations which create a “two tier” system for different health organisations.

A statutory duty of candour was introduced in 2014 for NHS organisations. In April 2015, regulations came into force which created a different duty of candour for providers of NHS primary care (GPs, dentists and pharmacists) and for private healthcare. Under this different duty, some serious incidents which have the potential to result in significant harm will not have to be disclosed to the patient, creating an inequality of rights for NHS patients depending on where they happen to be treated.

Following AvMA’s challenge, the Secretary of State for Health has agreed to consult further on changes to the thresholds for the duty of candour as laid down in the Regulations. The consultation is to be held this summer.