The Victorian Government is considering legislative reforms arising from the Duckett Review. The Victorian Government is considering legislative reforms arising from the Duckett Review. One of the recommendations was the introduction of a Statutory Duty of Candour for Victoria. This will place a legislative obligation on hospitals in Victoria to advise patients and consumers of healthcare of adverse incidents in their care, and ensure that they are provided with sufficient information and, where appropriate, receive an apology, for harm caused.

In one sense, this legislates obligations for “open disclosure”.

Russell Kennedy Principal, Michael Gorton AM, has been appointed by the Minister of Health to Chair an Expert Working Group providing advice on the legislative reforms.

A consultation paper has been issued, and the Expert Working Group is consulting with stakeholders across the Health system in Victoria in relation to these proposals.

Further information, including details on how stakeholders can have their say, are included in the consultation paper.

This could be a significant reform, which will mean a high level of assurance and governance for Health Service Executives and Boards in relation to adverse incidence in hospitals, and where patients may have been harmed.