Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (615, 616, 617, 618)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

615. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the percentage of serious reportable events being notified within 24 hours to a designated officer. [31016/19]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

616. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the percentage of mandatory investigations commenced within 48 hours of the event occurring. [31017/19]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

617. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the percentage of mandatory investigations completed within four months of notification of events occurring. [31018/19]

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Stephen Donnelly

Question:

618. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the percentage of reportable events to date in 2019 reported within 30 days of occurrence to the designated officer. [31019/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 615 to 618, inclusive, together.

As these are service matters and the data is collated by the HSE, the questions have been referred to the HSE for attention and direct reply to Deputy Stephen Donnelly. This reply was taken as a composite with 31016/19, 31017/19, 31018/19 and 31019/19.

The Department of Health takes the management of patient safety very seriously. In November 2015, the Government approved a major programme of patient safety reforms which included the establishment of a National Patient Safety Office (NPSO) in the Department of Health. The NPSO was established in December 2016 to oversee a programme of patient safety measures. The programme of patient safety centres on initiatives such as the establishment of a national patient advocacy service, the introduction of a patient safety surveillance system, the measurement of patient experience and extending the clinical effectiveness agenda.

In line with international best practice, the Department has been driving a progressive legislative framework to build an open and just culture for patient safety which balances the need for an open and honest reporting culture that facilitates a learning environment, and quality healthcare with accountability for both individuals and organisations. Disclosure and reporting are opportunities to learn, to improve, to address errors that have happened and to apply the lessons to make the service safer for the next patient and the patient after that. The programme of legislation being progressed includes the Patient Safety Bill, which will provide for the mandatory reporting of serious reportable events, and a Patient Safety Licensing Bill, which will introduce a regulatory regime for all hospitals as well as certain designated high-risk activities.

In addition, on 25 October 2017, I launched the National Standards on the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents. These standards, developed jointly by HIQA and the Mental Health Commission, set out a new approach to the way health providers respond to, review and investigate incidents in order to determine as quickly as possible what may have transpired, and why, to ensure that they can immediately implement any improvements necessary to prevent a re-occurrence.

Finally, in 2018 the Health Service Executive (HSE) launched it new Incident Management Framework and in June 2019 launched their interim revision of the Open Disclosure policy: “Communicating with Patients Following Patient Safety Incidents” replacing the HSE Open Disclosure Policy 2013. The Department will shortly establish a new Independent Patient Safety Council. I have recently appointed the Chair of the Council. The first task of the Council will be to undertake a detailed review of the existing policies on Open Disclosure across the whole healthcare landscape. The Independent Patient Safety Council will include strong patient and public representation and international patient safety expertise.