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PSIRF and Duty of Candour 
For all health and social care organisations responsible for PSIRF, patient, family and staff engagement and involvement and implementing the duty of candour.
The below training programme's are delivered by Carolyn Cleveland (founder of C&C Empathy Training Ltd) and  
Peter Walsh, former Chief Executive
 of Actions Against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

Known for her informative and thought provoking training within healthcare incidents - A Journey Through Complaints and Incidents Using Empathy  Carolyn combines aspects of this popular training along with content from Peter Walsh. Peter,  is well known for his pioneering work on the Duty of Candour and contributions to the development of PSIRF and Being Open principles. These courses provide those attending with confidence to involve patients, families, carers, and staff,  within the learning process, aligning with PSIRF, the Being Open principles and duty of candour within incidents.

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Patient and Staff Involvement in learning from Patient Safety Incidents
One day course
Applying Being Open, PSIRF and Duty of Candour with rich learning responses and psychological safety
This one day session not only examines the Being Open and PSIRF principles around compassionate engagement and involvement, but digs deeper, taking the learning around rich communication and honest understanding out of the textbook and into real life application. Through unique and thought provoking material these principles are brought to life to understand and explore in a psychologically safe and supportive environment - not just what needs to be done to ‘comply’. It deals with how it is best accomplished; but also why it needs doing, making all important connections between emotional, human and systems focused learning.
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By sharing the felt experience of compassionate engagement and involvement, the exploring the psychology behind it and its practical application, those attending will be able to truly put themselves into the positions of others, analysing and exploring the complexities of healthcare incidents and emotional fallout. Building confidence of the application of the duty of candour and PSIRF, whilst providing and evidencing compassionate communication and emotional support, to be best placed to have a systems approach and ensure staff, patient, families and carers do not end up more harmed, and rich learning takes place.


  • Understand and feel the emotional complexities within incidents for patients, families, carers and staff, by exploring the emotional component to aid authentic understanding and rich learning responses

  • Build confidence in compassionately engaging and involving those harmed, bereaved, or experiencing a trauma response, exploring how you review whether you have done this well and evidence it

  • Gain deep understanding of psychological/second harm for patients, families, carers and staff; impacting on a just, fair and learning culture and preventing meaningful compliance with the Being Open and PSIRF principles

  • Clarify ‘grey areas’ within the duty of candour and common difficulties

  • Understand what is needed to comply with the duty and PSIRF, with focus on compassionate engagement, and how systems thinking and human factors impact on proportionate responses and investigation

  • Link the human side of compliance and guidance and the importance of authentic compassionate engagement, involvement and openness, and what constitutes a meaningful apology to support trust, healing and partnerships and staff well-being

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Implementing the Duty of Candour with Empathy
One day course
Compliance and beyond

The statutory Duty of Candour is one of the fundamental standards regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It was brought in following recommendations made by the Mid-Staffordshire Public Inquiry.


The CQC is giving higher priority to monitoring compliance with the duty (regulation 20 in the CQC regulations) and has taken regulatory action against many organisations who have not fully complied. However, implementing the duty well is more than just complying

This training day covers the must do’s and the grey areas around the statutory Duty of Candour, with a strong emphasis on going beyond mere compliance and delivering the duty of candour in a meaningful way for patients and families, and for the staff involved and the organisation

This training is delivered between Peter Walsh the ex-Chief Executive of AvMA who is well known for his pioneering work on the Duty of Candour, and Carolyn Cleveland who specialises in training professionals in dealing with difficult emotions and conversations and doing so with empathy, understanding perspectives.

A percentage of all fees go to AvMA charity to continue the support for patients, loved ones, and staff involved in patient safety incidents

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  • Why the duty of candour is so important for patients, staff and


  • What is needed to comply with the duty of candour

  • Clarifying ‘grey areas’ and common difficulties

  • Implications for safety and complaints investigations

  • An understanding of empathy, its importance and application in

       delivering the duty of candour

  • How to be sure you are doing it ‘right’ and collecting evidence to

       demonstrate you are

  • Explore the absence and presence of empathy in a real-life incident, and the complexities of emotions that can influence giving and receiving communication around incidents.

  • Examine different perspectives and what is going on in the ‘Funnel of Life’ for patients and staff that may influence communication

  • Recognise the difference between empathy, sympathy and apathy to strengthening an empathic approach

  • Link the human side of the duty of candour to the compliance and the importance of communication with authentic honesty and openness, and what constitutes a meaningful apology.

"Very informative and thought-provoking; good opportunity to take time out of the workplace to consider how we discharge DoC and also how to make a meaningful apology."

Previous attendee

The human origins of the Duty of Candour and the story of Robbie Powell, who's parents tirelessly campaigned with sacrifice for with Robbie's Law and the duty, can be read about here

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