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Litigation fears are ‘major barrier’ to open disclosure

A “consistent issue” raised by clinicians and the State Claims Agency (SCA) during the evaluation was the need for legal protection on open disclosure. The pilot took place at both hospitals from 2010 to 2012 and a national policy was published in late 2013.

Feedback from a range of professionals was that “clinicians may resist being fully open and honest”, according to the report.

SCA Director Mr Ciarán Breen was quoted as saying that clinicians “need to be able to be free to say things that will not be used against them in court” and they require “greater reassurance and legal protection” for this purpose.

The previous Government gave approval in November 2015 to the drafting of legislative provisions to support open disclosure in the Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill. It is expected to be published following the summer recess. 

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