Press Release

Minister for Health Simon Harris opens Quality, Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Conference

Minister Simon Harris TD today opened the first annual Quality, Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Conference at Dublin Castle, hosted by the State Claims Agency.

Speaking at the conference, Minister Harris said “Patient safety and quality are at the heart of what we do in our health services. Achieving patient safety and quality requires active leadership and clinical commitment. I’m very happy to say that the National Patient Safety Office will be established within my Department by the end of the year.”

“I am also absolutely committed to making sure that the patient experience is listened to, and I am looking forward to the National Patient Experience Survey forming part of the Department’s work with the HSE and HIQA in the future.  How people feel about their interaction with the health service is of vital importance when it comes to planning, and I am determined to make sure that the voices of patients are heard, loud and clear.”

The conference focused on the importance of building a culture of patient safety in our health system and embedding the learning from patient safety events. The State Claims Agency is committed to continuing to provide information on claims and costs of national clinical incidents. Transparent publication and use of data and information will inform health system planning and patient safety and quality requirements into the future.

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Further Information

A National Patient Safety Office will be established in the Department of Health later this year. This Office will lead a programme of significant patient safety measures focused on initiatives such as new legislation, establishment of a national patient advocacy service, introduction of a patient safety surveillance system, extending the clinical effectiveness agenda and setting up a National Advisory Council for Patient Safety.

Additional measures focused on patient safety and quality include

  • a programme of legislation to progress licensing of both our public and private hospitals, and the Health Information and Patient Safety Bill, and legislation to support open disclosure;
  • the National Patient Experience Survey, which is a key patient safety initiative between the Department, the HSE and HIQA, with HIQA as the lead agency.  It is intended that the first survey will be collected in 2017;
  • Findings from the national patient experience survey to be included in the report of the National Healthcare Quality Reporting system which is published annually by the Department of Health;
  • The State Claims Agency has established and hosts the National Incident Management System and provides on-going support both to the HSE and other health service providers in maximising the utility of this system.