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Duty of candour and communication during an infection control incident in a paediatric ward of a Scottish hospital: how can we do better?
  1. Teresa Inkster1,
  2. John Cuddihy2
  1. 1Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Parent and family representative on Communication & Engagement Sub-Group, Family representative on Oversight Board convened in furtherance of Escalation to Stage 4 by Scottish Government, Coventry University, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Teresa Inkster, Microbiology, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK; teresaink{at}


Duty of candour legislation was introduced in Scotland in 2018. However, literature and experience of duty of candour when applied to infection control incidents/outbreaks is scarce. We describe clinician and parental perspectives with regard to duty of candour and communication during a significant infection control incident in a haemato-oncology ward of a children’s hospital. Based on the learning from this incident, we make recommendations for duty of candour and communication to patients and families during future infection control incidents. These include the need to consider a crisis management approach, the importance of not underestimating psychological harm in incidents of a prolonged duration and embedding the existing legislation pertaining to the rights of the child.

  • children
  • paediatrics
  • patient perspective
  • rights
  • truth disclosure

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed to the writing of this paper. Both were involved in the revision and review of material prior to resubmission. TI and JC both contributed to writing the paper and reviewing and revising versions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work

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