I propose to take Questions Nos. 182 to 185, 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 the Deputy. This reply was taken as a composite with 52252/19, 52253/19 and 52254/19.
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.
The Department is currently progressing a number of pieces of legislation which seek to enhance the safety and quality of the provision of health care services. This includes the Patient Safety (Licensing) Bill which will ensure that providers of health services operate at core standards which are applied in a consistent and systematic way. Under this legislation public and private hospitals and providers of high-risk healthcare activities taking place outside a hospital setting will require a license to operate.
The Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019 was approved by Government on 3 December for publication. This Bill provides for the extension of the remit of the Health Information and Quality Authority, to private hospitals. HIQA will be able to set standards for the operation of private hospitals, monitor compliance and undertake inspections of the services.
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. The HSE in turn developed the Incident Management Framework (2018) to support implementation of these standards.