Doctors and nurses will be expected to tell patients if they make mistakes and to say sorry as soon as possible after the event even if no harm has resulted.
It is intended that they will have to explain what has happened, how it will be dealt with and avoid it in the future, putting it in writing if patients require this.
It remains to be seen how this will work in practice and how easy it will be to make clinical staff apologise in cases where it is unclear or disputed as to who was to blame.
Will this encourage more patients to bring claims against the medical profession?
It will be important to appreciate that a medical or clinical negligence claim can only succeed if the admitted mistake has actually caused harm to the patient or a worse outcome has resulted.
For information, please contact Lynne Quarmby, a medical negligence solicitor at Woodfines' Bedford office on 01234 270600.