Hyponatraemia inquiry: Robin Swann announces consultation on responsibility of honesty on healthcare organisations and staff

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a consultation on proposals for creating a legal responsibility of honesty on healthcare organisations and staff when things go wrong.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 10:44 am

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a consultation on proposals for creating a legal responsibility of honesty on healthcare organisations and staff when things go wrong.

The Minister detailed the plans in a written statement to the Assembly, updating MLAs on the work being taken forward to implement the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into Hyponatraemia Related Deaths (IHRD).

The 14-year hyponatraemia inquiry, chaired by Mr John O’Hara QC, examined the treatment of five children who died in Northern Ireland hospitals between 1995 and 2003.

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Health Minister Robin Swann

It concluded that four of the deaths were avoidable.

In the written statement, the Minister said: “A Statutory Duty of Candour would create a legal responsibility for all healthcare organisations and individual staff to be honest when things go wrong. This duty would not just apply to being open and honest with patients, but also include the need to be open and honest within organisations when reporting adverse incidents or near misses that may have led to harm.”

The consultation will open on April 12 and run for a period of 16 weeks.

His full statement to MLAs on the background to the consultation can be read here.

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