THE Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been fined more than £1,000 for failing to apologise to a family in a reasonable period of time.

Health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) handed the trust a fine of £1,250 because it failed to comply with the Duty of Candour – the regulation that requires providers to be open and honest with patients or their families if there is an incident in which they suffer harm.

In this case, a baby was admitted to the Bradford Royal Infirmary in July 2016, but there were delays in diagnosing his condition and missed opportunities to admit him to hospital.

Although the trust recorded it as a notifiable safety incident, the family did not receive a formal written apology until October.

Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "Under the Duty of Candour, all providers are required to be open with patients or their families when something goes wrong that appears to have caused significant harm.

“The action that we have taken against Bradford Teaching Hospitals does not relate to the care provided to this baby, but to the fact that the trust was slow to inform the family in writing that there had been delays and missed opportunities in the treatment of their child.

"Patients or their families are entitled to the truth and a formal written apology as soon as practical after the incident – which didn’t happen in this case.”

A spokesperson for the trust said: “We would like to offer our apology and sincere condolences to the family involved in this incident. We are so very sorry for their sad loss.

“We identified and reported our breach in the Duty of Candour to the CQC ourselves.

"We co-operated fully with the investigation by the Care Quality Commission and have accepted the fixed penalty.

“Immediately after the breach was identified, we amended our policy and instigated a major staff awareness campaign.”