Recent Victorian legislation has introduced a new duty and legal obligation for public health services to apologise and provide detailed information to patients following a serious adverse event.
A statutory duty of candour has been introduced which is defined as: “a legal obligation to ensure that consumers of healthcare and their families are apologised to, and communicated with, openly and honestly when things have gone wrong in their care.”
In other States, doctors and other health care professionals are encouraged to apologise or ‘express regret’ in open disclosure processes where there has been an adverse patient safety event.
Historically doctors and health care professionals have been reluctant to openly apologise for fear of it being taken as an admission of liability or encouraging litigation or a complaint being made to the regulator.
So, the big questions health care professionals have are:
- Should we be fearful of the new changes?
- What protections do we have when we apologise
- How could apologies be used to reduce the potential for a complaint or claim being made?
Join us for our November FTC session where BN’s Rob Samut will discuss the possible consequences of saying sorry in the health industry, ways to avoid resulting complaints, and the benefits of the changes.