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The Power of Apology

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The content you’re about to read or listen to is at least two years old, which means evidence and guidelines may have changed since it was originally published. This content item won’t be edited but there will be a newer version published if warranted. Check the new publications and curriculum map for updates

Author: Craig Davidson / Code: CAP1 / Published: 20/04/2016

This podcast explores a common issue in the ED and expands on the below paper.

BMJ Admitting when mistakes are made. BMJ 2015;351: h4474

Three Rs

Regret: Express regret
Reason: Explain what you know about what happened
Remedy: What does the person want to happen
CALM

Compose yourself: press the pause button
Attention: give the person your full attention
Listen: let the the person tell their story, listen for keywords.
Moving on: say Im sorry, agree next steps, use I in your response.
GMC Guidance:

Doctors, nurses and midwives should:

speak to a patient, or those close to them, as soon as possible after they realise something has gone wrong with their care
apologise to the patient, explaining what happened, what can be done if they have suffered harm and what will be done to prevent someone else being harmed in the future
report errors at an early stage so that lessons can be learned quickly, and patients are protected from harm in the future.

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