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The Duty of Care

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 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:

  1. Raising your concerns
  2. Organising your case
  3. Preparing a meeting
  4. Writing effective letters
  5. Involving a union
  6. Bullying and victimisation
  7. Whistleblowing
  8. Getting legal advice
  9. Publicising your case
  10. 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 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

The Francis Report and Mid Staffs

Whistleblowing resources

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