News from National Voices

National Voices, the charity coalition for health and social care, is disappointed at the recent vote in the Lords on a Statutory of Candour for all NHS organisations. The Lords voted by a margin of 36 votes - 234 to 198 - against an amendment to include a statutory duty of candour in the Health & Social Care Bill.

National Voices’ Director of Policy, Don Redding, says:

“National Voices is disappointed by yesterday's vote. As many peers said in the debate, when something goes wrong patients want the basic decency of an apology, an explanation, and face to face communication. Yet cover-ups and gagging orders are still tolerated.

The NHS should be honest with patients about mistakes and this should be set out in the Health Bill, say charities National Voices, AvMA and partners in a letter in the Daily Telegraph. The letter calls on Lords to vote yes to a duty of candour in the Bill.

SIR – On Wednesday, the House of Lords is due to vote on an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill, to introduce a statutory duty of candour requiring NHS providers to inform patients when their healthcare goes wrong and causes harm.

Charity coalition National Voices is celebrating a government amendment to the Health & Social Care Bill which will clarify the meaning of patient and service user involvement.

Don Redding, National Voices’ Director of Policy, says: “This amendment is good news for patients and service users. We are pleased that the government has responded to our members’ concerns, after a year of campaigning. This wording will send a clear signal to commissioners that they must ensure, in all their commissioning, that people are engaged in their individual care and treatment. The National Commissioning Board must now produce further guidance on how to do so.”

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