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How to promote and support a culture of patient-centred openness and transparency in the NHS


Correspondence to:

Huw Llewelyn

Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, SY23 3BZ, UK

Tel.: +01970 622 802

Fax: +01970 622 826



Low standards in the NHS have been put down to a failure to make patients the focus of care that is also transparent. This paper defines clinical transparency as explaining each decision by pointing to the diagnosis for that decision and justifying each diagnosis with the findings that support it. Such transparency can be put in writing in a summary that not only keeps patients and carers informed and reminded about what should be happening but also all the doctors, nurses and other health professionals looking after the patient in hospitals and in the community. Such transparency not only improves the quality of care but also its efficiency by avoiding costly delays and errors due to poor communication.