Press Release

Statement by Minister for Health & Children, Mary Harney T.D. on HIQA Hospitals Hygiene Review 2008

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., today (Monday 22nd December, 2008) welcomed the second report of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) on hygiene in our hospitals.

The Minister said ; “I am very encouraged , that HIQA is telling us that overall there has been an improvement in the quality of hygiene services in the 50 acute hospitals assessed in this review.

“Last year HIQA conducted the first of their reviews which represented the start of a comprehensive process of continual assessment of hygiene in our public acute hospitals. The 2007 Report showed that most hospitals achieved either extensive or exceptional compliance with the standards in service delivery. However, HIQA recommended that significant improvement was needed in corporate governance relating to how hygiene services were being managed. We see from the 2008 report, published today, that HIQA is saying that the standards in service delivery have been maintained and there has been a marked improvement in corporate management.”

Overall, the 2008 results show that the number of “A” ratings which is the highest compliance against these exacting standards has nearly doubled in one year. There has also been an increase in the number of “B” ratings.

The Minister noted however , that not all hospitals moved up in performance and that there is still too wide a gap between those doing well and the underperformers.

“My Department as well as the HSE are currently examining the results in detail with a view to taking further targeted initiatives early in the new year to ensure that the measurable improvements achieved in 2008 are further built upon in 2009. The aim is that the high standards that have now been achieved in some hospitals must be replicated right across the service.”

The Minister said she and the Department have as a priority the safety and quality of the health services we provide to patients. One of the most important elements of that is the drive to improve performance on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections and of course hygiene is critical to achieving success in this area.