Press Release

Minister Harney welcomes the First Quarterly Progress Report of the Implementation Steering Group on recommendations of the Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance

Mary Harney, TD, Minister for Health and Children,  today (29th November 2009) welcomed the first Progress Report of the Implementation Steering Group on recommendations of the Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality.

The Implementation Steering Group was established in June 2009 to oversee the implementation of all the recommendations of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance Report and to ensure, as far as is practicable, that they are implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible in an appropriate timeframe.

‘Around the world, health systems have become increasingly concerned about the need to improve the quality of care provided to service-users including the safety, effectiveness, appropriateness, access, efficiency and acceptability of that care. This report sets out a clear and comprehensive summary of progress to date on implementation of the Commission’s recommendations throughout the health system’ the Minister said

She said that she was particularly pleased to see that work has commenced on the recommendation of the Commission on the licensing of healthcare providers and services in the public and private sectors.  The Department is currently examining the detail of licensing regimes in comparable jurisdictions. Legislative provisions regarding legal protection for open disclosure, adverse event reporting and clinical audit have been included in the Heads of the Health Information Bill and the Bill is expected to be published very early in the New Year.

The Minister emphasised that all the key players in the sector including public and private health service providers, regulators and professional bodies are represented on and fully engaged with and supportive of the Implementation Steering Group.  She noted that this represents an historic opportunity to bring about significant change in areas which have traditionally been difficult to progress.  Significant advances are now possible in clinical practice and audit, adverse event reporting and management and multi-disciplinary evidence-based care delivering improved outcomes through well structured critical pathways for the patient where efficiency, effectiveness and accountability are the hallmarks of the resultant health service.  The Minister said “the patient is entitled to full information and critically more certainty of better outcomes”.

The Minister reiterated that “all of us working in the delivery of healthcare owe it to our patients and to ourselves to do all that we can to minimise errors and maximise quality”.

The Minister also said: ‘I am determined that the implementation of the recommendations will lead to improved standards of patient safety and patient care in all healthcare settings.’

View the report