The NPA welcomes the work on promoting a Duty of Candour among Healthcare Professionals but are concerned about proposals to introduce a statutory individual duty of candour which would mean that pharmacists would be managed differently in Northern Ireland in comparison to elsewhere in Great Britain.
The NPA has responded to the DoH Consultation on proposals to introduce a Duty of Candour and Being Open on behalf of members. Duty of Candour is inherent to a safe and effective healthcare system. We have pushed back on the introduction of a statutory individual duty of candour and have responded that would cause unnecessary duplication of existing professional requirements. Implementation of this proposal would also mean that pharmacists would be treated differently in managing their duty of candour obligations than professionals elsewhere in Great Britain.
We recognise the benefits of an organisational statutory duty of candour to promote greater openness amongst all staff which would benefit patients. It is important that the Being Open Framework will implemented in such a way as to enable staff to feel able to speak up for patient safety without risking any opposition or intimidation from their peers or other stakeholders.