Angus Council social work services Duty of Candour Report 2022-23


Duty of Candour came into force on 1 April 2018 as set out in Part 2 of The Health (Tobacco Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016. The Duty of Candour Procedure (Scotland) Regulations 2018 and Guidance from Scottish Government was issued on 28 March 2018.

All health and social care services in Scotland have a Duty of Candour. This is a legal requirement which means that, when unintended or unexpected events happen that result in death or harm as defined in the Act, the people affected understand what has happened and receive an apology, and that organisations learn how to improve for the future.

This report covers Angus social work services, including those delivered within the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP), which have Duty of Candour reporting responsibility.

In Angus our emphasis continues to be on open and honest communication, supporting people, and developing our services based on learning from case reviews and feedback from the people using our services. In line with our legal requirement when things go wrong and mistakes are made, we continue to meet with people affected and communicate openly and honestly to ensure they understand what has happened, receive an apology, and that social work services in Angus and AHSCP learn from any mistakes. Where necessary we will make changes to minimise future risks to individuals using our services.

This report covers the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. During that time, there were no incidents reported under the Duty of Candour from Angus council social work service or Angus Health and Social Care Partnership. 

Incidents to which the Duty of Candour applies:

Type of unexpected or unintended incident

Number of times this happened

Someone has died


Someone has permanently less bodily, sensory, motor, physiologic or intellectual functions



Someone’s treatment has increased because of harm


The structure of someone’s body changes because of harm


Someone’s life expectancy becomes shorter because of harm


Someone’s sensory, motor or intellectual functions is impaired for 28 days or more



Someone experienced pain or psychological harm for 28 days or more




A person needed health treatment in order to prevent them dying


A person needing health treatment in order to prevent other injuries



Information about our policies and procedures

We know that adverse events can be distressing for staff as well as people who receive a service from the Council. Support is available for all staff through line management structures with managers meeting with staff to debrief following any serious incidents. Staff also have access to counselling support through PAM Assist who provide an independent and confidential counselling service to employees.

The Council and AHSCP take a corporate approach to complaints management and the central team highlight issues that have occurred within the context of service delivery to ensure the duty is initiated where appropriate.

Where something has happened to trigger the Duty of Candour, procedures are followed in line with the Duty of Candour Operational Instruction which is available to staff centrally on our Council intranet. This instruction applies to all AHSCP and children and families social work staff. It details what action staff must take and how they must behave in accordance with our duty to be open, honest, and supportive when there is an unexplained or unintended incident resulting in death or harm.

Duty of Candour training is available to all staff through an E-Learning resource and staff are provided with guidance regarding their responsibilities under the Duty of Candour by responsible managers of all residential, respite units and care services.

We will continue to make changes to our policies and procedures as a result of Duty of Candour incidents, learning from mistakes, complaints and other forms of feedback from those who use care services. We are committed to Scottish Government's commitment to openness and learning which is vital to the provision of safe, effective, and person-centred health and social care services.

As required, we will publish this report on Angus Council website and submit the link to the report to the Care Inspectorate.

For further information in respect of this report, please contact

Approved by: Kathryn Lindsay, Chief Social Work Officer

Date: 10 April 2023