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The Duty of Candour: News, Presentations & Updates from Today's Conference

Today's Duty of Candour conference is chaired by Jeanette Beer Safety and Learning Lead NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) and focuses on applying and monitoring adherence to the statutory and professional duty of candour in practice, and ensuring the duty is not seen as an add-on but as an integral aspect of a culture of candour across the organisation. 

Denise Chaffer Direcor of Safety, Learning & People NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA) opened the conference with a session on achieving a Culture of Candour & Freedom to Speak Up, with a focus on 

  • creating the right environment for staff to speak up safely and share this best practice across the NHS
  • how do we achieve a culture of candour in our organisations and services?
  • how can we support frontline staff to implement the duty at the bedside?
  • accountabilities and reporting requirements


Denise's biography

Denise Chaffer is a Registered Nurse and Midwife and currently holds the post of Director of Safety and Learning for the NHS Litigation Authority. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and Social Care, a first degree, plus a Higher Education Teaching qualification and is currently in her third year studying for a Phd in Health care leadership.

She is a professional Clinical Nursing leader with over 15 years’ experience, has been an Executive Director of Nursing in two Acute Trusts, as well as a Director in a PCT commissioning organisation. More recently she was Director of Nursing for North West London Area Team at NHS England as well as being lead for patient safety across the London Region She has significant experience of working at international, national and regional level within acute and community settings, nursing, midwifery, education, and on major change and reconfiguration initiatives. 

Following Denise is Julian Brookes Advisory Group Member The Independent NHS Patient Safety Investigation Service for England and the Department of Health, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, PHE & Member Morecambe Bay Investigation Team.  Julian will present a session on 'Developing the role of the new Independent NHS Patient Safety Investigation Service (IPSIS)', with a focus on:

  • ensuring there is an acknowledgement and responsibility for learning from error and seeking continuous improvement within organisations
  • the role of the Independent NHS Patient Safety Investigation Service
  • design, scope, governance and operating model for IPSIS
  • the role of IPSIS in promoting transparency and openness


Julian comments that "What we want to do is understand what the issue is and how it can be resolved.  It's about learning from what's happened, what are the key lessons and what can be done to support change"

Julian's biography:

Julian is currently the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Public Health England.  In 2013 he helped establish and then was an expert panel member to the Morecambe Bay Investigation into Maternal and Neonatal Services.  He is a member of the Expert Advisory Group, established by the Secretary of State for Health to advise on the creation, purpose, role and operation of a new independent investigation function for healthcare (Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch).

He has nearly thirty years’ experience in health care, including a previous appointment as Head of Clinical Quality at the Department of Health.  Whilst at the Department of Health he oversaw the introduction of Clinical Governance and the development of both the Healthcare Commission and the National Patient Safety Agency. 

15 June 2016


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