The Duty of Care
Download our free handbook
The Francis Report into up to 1,200 unnecessary deaths at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust exposed a catalogue of neglect and abuse when it was published on 6 February 2013.
The inquiry also revealed a management culture in which health care professionals and other staff feel afraid to raise concerns about standards -- not least after some were punished for doing so.
At Public World we believe that the report, and especially its emphasis on the need for this culture to change, could trigger real improvements in the NHS. But only if the right lessons are learnt and health care workers are empowered to act upon them in transparently accountable ways.
Our Duty of Care project aims to support that effort.
Here you can download our Duty of Care handbook, written by Roger Kline with Shazia Khan.
Roger Kline leads our Duty of Care project and is also a visiting fellow at Middlesex Universiity, a director at Patients First and advisor to Public Concern at Work. He has many years experience of representing healthcare workers bullied or victimised for raising concerns.
Shazia Khan is a partner in the law firm Bindmans, winner of the prestigious CFI.co Best Employment Law Team for 2013. Shazia herself was named Female Lawyer of the Year for 2012 by the Association of Muslim Lawyers , and specialises in all kinds of employment and discrimination law.
You can also download our series of Advice Notes, especially prepared to support health care workers to assert their right and duty to question, challenge and prevent poor and dangerous care:
- Raising your concerns
- Organising your case
- Preparing a meeting
- Writing effective letters
- Involving a union
- Bullying and victimisation
- Getting legal advice
- Publicising your case
- Looking after yourself
We offer training and consultancy services to support healthcare employers and staff unions and professional bodies in this work.
Please email us at email@example.com with inquiries about those services, or with any questions, suggestions and stories. Although we are unable to take up particular cases, your feedback will help us to improve the resources and training we can offer.
Disclaimer notice: the advice contained on this website is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. Each situation is unique and the information provided here is not to be relied on without also seeking advice from a competent trade union official, professional body or a qualified lawyer aware of your specific situation.
Additional online resources
Health care standards and regulation
- National Health Service constitution
- Patients Association, which runs a helpline
- National Voices, a coalition of health and social care charities in England.
- Health and Safety Executive
- TUC health and safety resources
- National Patient Safety Agency - useful data and guidance, e.g. incident decision tree
- Equality and Human Rights Commission advice on health and social care rights.
- Health Foundation materials on safety and quality improvement
- Nursing Standard campaign for mandatory nurse staffing levels
- Care Quality Commission - checks if hospitals and care services meet national standards
- Monitor - checks financial viability and leadership of NHS trusts
- Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman - investigates complaints
- Health and Care Professions Council guidance for health care professionals
- General Medical Council guidance on raising concerns about patient safety
- Nursing and Midwifery Council guidance on raising concerns
The Francis Report and Mid Staffs
- The Mid Staffs Public Inquiry Report (2013) by Robert Francis QC
- Evidence to the Mid Staffs Inquiry
- The first Mid Staffs Inquiry report (2010)
- Videos summarising some of the key themes from the Mid Staffs inquiry
- Cure the NHS -- the local campaign group of relatives who exposed the Mid Staffs scandal