A Stormont health minister has stated it should be an offence for physicians.
Jim Wells vowed in 2015 to introduce a duty of candour. Within months he had been forced from office and said he remained quite bitter that allegations were “fabricated” against him.
Making the obligation to be candid binding on caregivers was the recommendation of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry headed by chairman Sir John O’Hara QC during hospital therapy of this week.
Sir John O´Hara speaking at the launch of the findings from this Hyponatraemia inquiry at The Crown Plaza Hotel at Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)
Mr Wells said: “I’d suggest we go further and make it an offence, not a responsibility of candour but to make it an offence to be demonstrated to be deliberately withholding information, as clearly occurred in this situation.
“People had information that might have contributed responses and would have contributed the families some relaxation and that information had been deliberately withheld.
“That under what I was about to indicate (at 2015) would have effectively made it a criminal offence and that would have focused the minds of various clinicians who circled the wagons.”
After finding that failures in care had been covered up, the medical profession was heavily criticised by Sir John.
The inquiry report urged medics to stop placing their own reputations.
A DUP Assembly member, Mr Wells, stated questions should be less complex and more concentrated in the future.
He stated he remained bitter about his ousting.
“I’d like to have remained long enough to have pursued this problem and here we’re now 3 decades later and there still isn’t the statutory responsibility that I believe could have generated an atmosphere where a great deal of this might not have occurred,” he said.
“This whole inquiry was a really bitter experience for its health service and has introduced a civilization and an attitude at the time that was really, very unhealthy.”
He said the principle had been created this duty of candour went to take place.
The South Down Assembly member stated there must be lessons learned from the aircraft sector where there’s a duty on aircrews to produce mistakes public to keep them from recurring.
He said the wellness of children has been just as if not more important.
He added: “What must be particularly unfortunate for your families is that might have been avoided, a few of those deaths might have been avoided, ” the Roberts case, the Ferguson case.
“Often when you make an error you at least make sure the parents receive a comfort from the fact you have been honest and open and explained precisely what went wrong.”
The Hyponatraemia Inquiry given its findings on Wednesday. It analyzed the deaths of five kids.