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The GMC and NMC have jointly announced their guidance on professional duty of candour for doctors, nurses and midwives.

The guidance says that doctors, nurses and midwives have a professional duty to be open and honest with patients when things go wrong. It says that they should always report when mistakes are made that have compromised – or could have compromised – patient safety.

The guidance says that doctors, nurses and midwives should:

  • speak to a patient, or those close to them, as soon as possible after they realise something has gone wrong with their care
  • apologise to the patient, explaining what happened, what can be done if they have suffered harm and what will be done to prevent someone else being harmed in the future
  • report errors at an early stage so that lessons can be learned quickly, and patients are protected from harm in the future.

Read the full guidance on the GMC website here: www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/27234.asp