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Duty of Candour Policy

Policy Statement

Stranraer Skills Station aims to provide the best possible quality of service.

As part of this process, Stranraer Skills Station operates a Duty of Candour process for open and honest communication between us providing care and support and with those individuals who are in receipt of our services.

Stranraer Skills Station realise that trust and effective communication can be difficult to maintain and easy to lose when things go wrong.

The new organisational Duty of Candour underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness and learning which is vital to the provision of safe, effective, and person-centred health and social care.  This guidance focuses on the implementation of the legal Duty of Candour procedure for all organisations that provide health services, care services or social work services in Scotland.

Stranraer Skills Station acknowledges that instances of poor practice can and do occur and should be rectified speedily, effectively, and as locally as possible. Therefore, time and resources must be put into training staff and volunteers and informing individuals about understanding and using all our procedures.

The organisational Duty and Candour provisions of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 (The Act) and  The Duty of Candour Procedure (Scotland) Regulations 2018  set out the procedures that organisations providing health services, care services and social work services in Scotland are required by law to follow when there has been an unintended or unexpected incident that results in death or harm (or additional treatment is required to prevent injury that would result in death or harm).

This policy and procedure are formulated in line with this guidance and have been agreed upon by Elaine McCourtney of Stranraer Skills Station and are mandatory for all its services and projects.

This policy operates in conjunction with:

  • Local Regulators Requirements
  • Health and Social Care Standards
  • General Data Protection Regulations
  • Compliments and Complaints Procedure
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Disciplinary and Appeals Procedure
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse
  • Child Protection
  • Whistleblowing
  • Care Inspectorate
  • Duty of Candour Guidance

Introduction

General   

Openness and honesty should be central to the actions of those providing care and support to others.  It should be at the heart of every relationship between those providing, receiving, and/or experiencing treatment, care, and support.

Trust and effective communication can be difficult to maintain and easy to lose when things have gone wrong.

This Duty and Candour Policy and Procedure underpins the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness and learning which is vital to the provision of safe, effective, and person-centered, health and social care.

The overall purpose of the Duty of Candour is to ensure that organisations are open, honest, and supportive when there is an “unexpected or unintended incident resulting in harm or death”, as defined by the Act.

Alongside the legal requirements in following the Duty of Candour procedure outlines the issues Stranraer Skills Station wants to consider at each point in the procedure; suggests best practices; and provides a checklist of the steps to be taken to fulfill the duty.

In this policy, the word “must” refers to actions that are a legal requirement as set out in the Duty of Candour procedure legislation.

The remainder of the policy provides details of best practices in following arrangements for notification, discussion, review, and actions for Stranraer Skills Station when there has been an unintended or unexpected incident resulting in death or harm.

The guidance also includes several ‘issues to consider’ sections that outline areas to think about in support of the implementation of the organisational duty.

Every organisation covered by the Duty of Candour legislation is regarded as a “Responsible Person” with the definition as set out in section 25 of the Act.

A “Relevant Person” is the person who has been harmed during the incident, or where that person has died, or is, in the opinion of the responsible person, lacking in capacity or otherwise unable to make decisions about the service provided, a person acting on behalf of that person. This is set out in section 22(3) of the Act.

Most Recent Report – April 2021 to March 2023

Duty of Candour is a legal requirement to ensure that if something goes wrong in our health or social care services the people affected are offered an explanation, an apology, and an assurance that staff will learn from the error.

The learning is shared with the people affected throughout Scotland.

Stranraer Skills Station, Care and Support Services, Day Care Services and Feet First are different projects supporting older and vulnerable adults.

  • Care and Support Services: support approximately 63 people to live in their own individual homes with a small team of practitioners.
  • Day Care Service: support approximately 25 to attend our three-day-care services to progress and work towards achieving their desired outcomes.
  • Feet First Service; supports 114 clients to maintain their foot and nail health.

Our services are flexible and tailored to support that meets individual needs, and our Foot and Nail Care services operate both in a static clinic and on a peripatetic basis.

Stranraer Skills Station has a Duty of Candour Policy and Procedure.

All staff undertake training to help them understand our organisation’s policy and the process of the Duty of Candour which could affect them.

Incident Reporting 

All health and social care services in Scotland must provide an annual Duty of Candour report for their services.

As a Care at Home and Support Service, this information is sent to our regulator, the Care Inspectorate.

Type of Unexpected or Unintended Incident (Number of Times This Happened)
The Death of an Individual – (0)
A Permanent Lessening of Bodily, Sensory, Motor, Physiologic, or Intellectual Functions – (0)
An Increase in an Individual’s Treatment – (0)
Changes to the Structure of an Individual’s Body – (0)
The Shortening of the Life Expectancy of an Individual – (0)
An Impairment of the Sensory, Motor, or Intellectual Functions of an Individual which has lasted, or is likely to last, for a continuous period of at least 28 days – (0)
An Individual Experiencing Pain or Psychological Harm which has been, or is likely to be, experienced by the person for a continuous period of at least 28 days – (0)
An Individual Experiencing Pain or Psychological Harm which has been, or is likely to be, experienced by the person for a continuous period of at least 28 days – (0)
An Individual Requiring Treatment by a Registered Health Professional to prevent them from dying – (0)
An Individual Requiring Treatment by a Registered Health Professional to prevent any injury that if left untreated, would lead to one or more of the outcomes mentioned above – (0)

Our Procedures following and event:

Not required

Our Policy and Process  

When an incident occurs that necessitates the implementation of Duty of Candour, our staff reports this to their Line Manager and to the Operations Manager who oversees the service we provide.  The incident is recorded initially via an Accident and Incident Form, and the Operations Manager completes the Care Inspectorate reporting e-form.  This internal reporting form highlights the learning needed because of the incident and any specific staff team learning necessary.

Duty of Candour is part of our Induction Training which all staff must undertake, in addition to the legislation a series of scenarios form part of the training to emphasise to staff that while it is distressing when things go wrong, we all can and do learn from our mistakes and adapt our processes to try to minimise the events recurring.  This is also included in our Whistleblowing, Compliment,s and Complaints Policies, and Values Training.  Where an incident arises from staff misconduct our disciplinary processes will be activated.

What Have We Learned? 

In the essence of prevention, we will continue to ensure all staff is confident and competent in the Duty of Candour, Health, and Safety and the importance of maintaining up-to-date Care Planning processes.

If you would like more information about this report, please contact us at:

Senior Management Team, Stranraer Skills Station, 30 Harbour Street, Stranraer DG9 7RD

Tel: 01776 704556 or email admin@skills-station.org