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A shared duty of candour for nurses, midwives and doctors

3 November 2014

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Medical Council (GMC) are seeking views on joint guidance on a professional duty of candour for nurses, midwives and doctors. 

The consultation on the guidance follows the publication of a joint statement signed by the Chief Executives of eight healthcare professional regulators in October 2014. In the statement, the regulators committed to do more to put openness and honesty at the heart of healthcare in the UK.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: 

“Healthcare professionals share a responsibility to be open and honest in the best interests of the people they care for.

“This guidance will help nurses, midwives and doctors – who so often work closely together – to uphold a common duty of candour and meet the responsibilities articulated in their professional standards.

“The duty of candour will enhance public protection. It will nurture an open and constructive learning environment and help nurses, midwives and doctors who wish to raise concerns.”

The NMC and GMC are asking whether the guidance is clear, comprehensive and applicable in practice.

The consultation on the guidance will run until 5 January 2015.



Notes for editors

1.   The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public. We do this by ensuring that only those who meet our requirements are allowed to practise as a nurse or midwife in the UK. We take action if concerns are raised about whether a nurse or midwife is fit to practise.

2.   An explicit duty of candour will feature in the revised Code.

3.   For media enquiries, please contact Ann Brown, NMC media team, on 020 7681 5649 or media@nmc-uk.org