Musing overnight about the Duty of Candour one wonders how many Southern Health executives and staff have breached the Duty of Candour as registered medical professionals: even those in management roles remain bound by their professional obligations, if they have maintained their professional registration.
However, although medical professionals’ regulators of will each have their own guidance, all NHS organisations, executives and staff (whether registered professionals or not) should refer to the NHS Litigation Authority’s publication, ‘Duty of Candour – introduction’. Key points are:
“The Duty of Candour is a legal duty on hospital, community and mental health trusts to inform and apologise to patients if there have been mistakes in their care that have led to significant harm.”
“Duty of Candour aims to help patients receive accurate, truthful information from health providers.”
“The NHS LA’s duty of candour guidance seeks to demystify how health providers can deliver on candour, achieving a wholly transparent culture in health provision – being open when errors are made and harm caused.”
Southern Health’s executives and staff ,who spent time in the military, should also take note of The Military Code of Honour, although even those who have not served might reflect on it too.
Developed by Paul R. Allen, Former Combat Infantryman, U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division, Korea – Purple Heart Medal recipient, Life Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Military Code of Honour includes references to how those who have served should act in the civilian world. For example [emphasis added]:
“Back in the civilian world, people have no idea that life is about keeping your word of honor. They think life is about ballgames, backyards, barbecues, babies and business.”
“It is an iron law of nature that such serenity lengthens life span to the max.”
“It is also an iron law of nature that to keep your serenity you must continue to keep your word of honor in civilian life else bad things may happen.”
“It works like this. Unlike civilians who are not trained to keep their word, their honor — the importance of doing your duty and keeping your word of honor was drilled so deep into you by the Military that it became more important than life itself as proven by the fact that you were willing to die to keep it.”
“Consequently if you throw away in civilian life something that important it is only natural to feel a sense of self-betrayal, loss of honor, un-worthiness, etc. These poisonous feelings from trashing your training may grow so powerful they destroy your self-esteem….”
“The lesson: unlike un-trained civilians, veterans must keep their word, their honor/self-esteem in the civilian world like they did in the Warriors World lest their tough training triggers tragic times.”
Full text available at: http://www.militarycodeofhonor.com/WarriorsCodeofHonor
Are there any lessons here for Southern Health’s executives and staff?
Do Southern Health’s staff feel a sense of self-betrayal, loss of honour, un-worthiness as a result of their management’s failings exposed in the Mazars Review?