Patients must be told the truth when clinical errors occur

Dr Gabriel Scally led the scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck scandal. Now, he writes, we must change how we deal with such failures in the health system in the interests of the patients affected, their families and society as a whole

17th November, 2019
The Four Courts

Having dealt personally with the consequences of very many serious failures in healthcare, it is clear to me that in the aftermath of a problem occurring, the patients affected (or their relatives) generally want three simple things.

First, they want a full account of what has gone wrong and why it happened. In short, they want to know the truth. Patients and relatives pay very close attention to both what they are told and how...

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