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    The Duty of candour is a new legislative requirement for Victorian health services, which came into effect on 30 November 2022.  

    The Duty of candour builds on existing elements of open disclosure as outlined in the Australian Open Disclosure Framework and encourages open, honest communication when a patient has suffered a serious adverse patient safety event while receiving care.    

    Under these requirements, the Duty of candour ensures that patients and their families/carers receive the following when a serious adverse patient safety event occurs:

    • an apology 
    • the facts of the event, i.e. what happened and why
    • the health service response to the event, i.e. what the health service did at the time of and after the event
    • an outline of the steps being taken to prevent similar events from happening again.

    The Duty of candour also promotes active involvement of patients and their families or carers as part of the review process to ensure they can share their recollection of events and ask any questions they may have as well.

    We have partnered with the Health Issues Centre to convene a consumer advisory group, including lived experience members, carers and impacted families to develop patient resources that aid in understanding the Duty of candour and the key timelines health services must adhere to throughout the process. 

    Note: In this context, the terms ‘patient’ and ‘consumer’ have the same meaning. 

    Resources in languages other than English

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