What do new duty of candour regulations mean?

Published: 18 October 2016 Ezine

A blog by Sue Cohen, National Lead for the Screening Quality Assurance Service at Public Health England Screening, explains in detail how the new duty of candour rules apply to screening programmes.

PHE Screening and the CQC have teamed up to put together guidance to help organisations and clinicians decide how to interpret duty of candour in the context of a screening programme.

Read the guidance

Sue writes: “We get lots of questions about how to apply duty of candour regulations in screening programmes.

“Duty of candour regulations require everyone to be open and honest with people who use our services and to say sorry when things go wrong.

“I think we sometimes get into difficulties because it is the nature of all screening programmes that we can’t always detect all conditions all of the time.

“However, this doesn’t mean that screening programmes have done something wrong.”

Sue continues: “A false negative screening result is when a test indicates that an individual does not have the condition being screened for when, in reality, they do.

“The 2 possible causes of a false negative result are:

  • something has gone wrong
  • everything was done correctly but our test wasn’t able to detect the condition this time (this happens in all screening programmes)

“Determining which of the above situations applies is at the heart of deciding when to apply duty of candour regulations.”

Read Sue’s blog in full