Press Release

Minister Byrne launches the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee Public Involvement Framework

The Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne TD has this morning launched the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee Public Involvement Framework in the Department of Health. Addressing members of the Committee and patient representatives the Minister said, “I am delighted to be here today to publicly announce the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee’s Public Involvement Framework. This Framework will be a key resource in supporting clinical effectiveness and improving public involvement.”

The Minister added, “Patient involvement is important because it helps to develop priorities and make improvements in healthcare based on public identified needs rather than assumptions. Public involvement informs decision-making and ensures issues that the public are interested in are addressed.”

“The Department of Health is committed to clinical effectiveness through the programme of work of the NCEC supported by the Clinical Effectiveness Unit, now part of the Department’s National Patient Safety Office.”

In 2015, the NCEC invited 2 patient advocates to join the membership of the NCEC. This mirrored what was happening internationally with similar bodies such as the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence. In 2016, the NCEC, commissioned some work to help it understand the why and how of what is called ‘public involvement’ in guidelines and audit processes. It was also interested in how best to support this as a strategy. Today, the launch of the NCEC’s Public Involvement Framework demonstrates a significant milestone.

Prof Karen Ryan, Chair of the NCEC, confirmed, “This Framework provides practical guidance to achieve a clear purpose, a structure and a commitment to the process of public involvement during design and development stages of clinical guidelines and clinical audit. Though prepared for NCEC’s National Guideline Development Groups and National Audit Governance Committees, this information will also be useful for other NCEC public involvement activities e.g. clinical guidance development, and also to wider interest groups looking to work together with public, such as researchers, educators and regulators.”


Note to Editors

The National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC)

1. The NCEC is the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee. It was set up as part of the Patient Safety First Initiative in September 2010. The NCEC is supported by the Clinical Effectiveness Unit, which is part of the National Patient Safety Office in the Department of Health.
2. The NCEC’s mission is to provide a framework for national endorsement of clinical guidelines and audit to optimise patient and service user care. The NCEC has developed and provided a mechanism for the prioritisation and quality assurance of clinical guidelines and clinical audit so as to recommend them to the Minister for Health to become part of a suite of National Clinical Guidelines and National Clinical Audit.
3. The NCEC is a partnership between key stakeholders in patient safety. The NCEC is chaired by Professor Karen Ryan and includes clinicians, patient representatives, the Department of Health, patient safety experts, health managers, regulatory bodies, training and education bodies, insurance and clinical indemnity agencies and private healthcare.
4. All National Clinical Guideline and National Clinical Audit must meet respective national quality assurance criteria. (National Clinical Guidelines from NCEC/HIQA, 2015; and National Clinical Audit from NCEC 2015)
5. A rigorous methodological process for both guidelines and audit is required. This includes patients or public as key stakeholders with representation on development or governance groups.

NCEC Public Involvement Framework

6. The Public Involvement Framework was developed by a team from Dublin City University, led by Dr Veronica Lambert. Public representatives were involved in both the development team and its Expert Advisory Group.
7. The framework was developed in 2 phases. The first phase consisted of a desktop review of existing national and international practices of public involvement and the development and testing (for feasibility and practicability in the Irish context) of a series of vignettes. The outputs from Phase 1 included a Values Statement from the NCEC and a model framework for integrating public involvement in NCEC clinical effectiveness processes.
8. The second phase consisted of the design of guidance documents to support implementation; both practical resources to support implementation and an evaluation framework to assess progress. Guidance comes in the form of checklists, worksheets, think points, key messages from the public and various templates to support activities across the framework.