Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (121)

Bernard Allen

Question:

122 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the information his Department has about the nature and extent of clinical error in hospitals here; the research that has been carried out in the area to date; and his proposals on the issue. [8137/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

My Department does not collect information on the extent of clinical error in Irish health care institutions. As part of the introduction of the clinical indemnity scheme, agencies covered by the scheme are being provided with an electronic information system which will, among other functions, allow them to collect and analyse information on clinical incidents which occur in their services. The State Claims Agency which operates the clinical indemnity scheme will have the capacity to use the system to analyse broad trends in the pattern of clinical error. The agency will not have access to the names of patients or staff involved in such incidents other than in circumstances where the incident results in a personal injury claim.

I am not aware of any research on clinical error which has been undertaken in this country. However, officials in my Department have held exploratory discussions with the Health Research Board on commissioning research on the extent of clinical error in Ireland.