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The Statutory Duty of Candour (SDC) is a new legislative requirement for Victorian health services, which came into effect on 30 November 2022.  

Although open disclosure is a longstanding, well accepted practice in Victorian health services, it does not always occur. The SDC builds on existing principles of open disclosure within the Australian Open Disclosure Framework and ensures that patients and their families/carers receive an apology and open, honest communication if they suffer a serious adverse patient safety event whilst receiving care.  

The SDC process encourages active involvement of patients and their families to ensure they can share their recollections of events as part of the event review to prevent a re-occurrence. 

We have partnered with the Health Issues Centre to convene a consumer advisory group, including lived experience members, carers and impacted families, to develop consumer resources that aid in understanding the SDC 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. Also the terms ‘SDC’ and ‘duty of candour’ are used interchangeably.  

Resources to come in February 2023. 

Page last updated: 19 Jan 2023

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