Recommendation 290

Department of Health culture

The Department of Health should promote a shared positive culture by setting an example in its statements by being open about deficiencies, ensuring those harmed have a remedy, and making information publicly available about performance at the most detailed level possible.

In respect of deficiencies wherever they come in the health and care system, the Department of Health needs to be explicitly and clearly on the side of patients and the public. We have put in place a number of measures to increase transparency in the NHS including the duty of candour on organisations, and the appointment of Chief Inspectors of Hospitals, Primary Care and Adult Social Care. These measures will help to identify poor practice, increase public accountability and, while for some the exposure of failings in care will be difficult, over the long-term we expect these measures will increase public trust in health and care organisations.


The Department and the national organisations for the NHS have continued to put in place a number of measures to ensure that there is widespread transparency for patients and the public. The ‘my NHS’ website is providing more detailed, comparative information for patients and the public than ever before. The duty of candour will form part of the Fundamental Standards, and comes into force for NHS bodies in November 2014 and will apply to all providers of health and care services registered by the Care Quality Commission from April 2015.