The publication of the Francis report has been described by health secretary Jeremy Hunt as a seminal report that will mark a turning point for the NHS. It resisted blaming individuals, focusing instead on what could be learned from the catalogue of appalling and tragic events, with an emphasis on developing the right culture of care within the NHS, through better leadership, training and transparency.
Among the 290 recommendations were calls for a stronger requirement for organisations and staff to speak openly and honestly when things go wrong. The duty of candour has now been placed on a stronger footing. No longer merely a contractual obligation, the non-fulfillment or obstruction of this duty would become a criminal offence.