Minister for Health officially opens second Annual Patient Safety Conference

09 February 2012

The Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly, T.D., today (Thursday 9th February 2012) officially opened the 2nd Annual Patient Safety Conference in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The conference is being streamed live at http://www.rcpi.public-i.tv/site/player/index.php?a=72864 at 9am.

This Conference is following-on from the launch of the ‘Patient Safety First Initiative’ at the 1st Patient Safety Conference in September 2010. The aim of the Conference is to promote the objectives of ‘Patient Safety First’, provide updates in relation to current developments and provide a forum for networking and interaction between key stakeholders in relation to the patient safety agenda. The programme includes international speakers, updates on patient safety initiatives and examples of good practice.

In his address, Dr. Reilly commented that “The objective of my health reforms is not to reform the system for its own sake but rather to do so to improve quality, access, safety and patient centeredness. Quality and safety are at the heart of health policy and I believe that the achievement of enhanced standards of patient care will inevitably lead to a reduction in overall costs resulting in a more effective and efficient health service".

Speaking about the many examples of good practice in the area of patient safety presented at the Conference, the Minister stated that “These projects demonstrate the wealth of safety and quality initiatives and innovations taking place across the health system.”

In conjunction with the Conference, the Minister highlighted a number of significant HSE initiatives.

‘You and Your Health Service’ This charter is a statement of commitment of healthcare expectations and responsibilities. This charter sets out the commitments of both the service and the service user and what they should both expect when interacting. There are eight principles within the charter. The principles are:

Under the principle of participation the following resources have been developed; ‘Its Safe to Ask’ – an information leaflet which service users may find useful. It lists some practical questions that can help service users in the communications and interactions with healthcare professionals. This leaflet will be introduced in health services following a consultation process with professional bodies and service user representatives.

Under the principle of accountability the following resource has been developed; ‘Tell us….your feedback’ – this leaflet asks questions about the users experience. The feedback received through this leaflet will provide useful information for service improvements in the future. Service users can also provide feedback through the web at www.hse.ie/eng/services/ysys/.

Materials and supports are currently being developed for the other principles of the charter and will be available in due course.

“My Department, along with the Health Service Executive, has led the development of a National Strategy for Service User Involvement and a series of initiatives are being progressed to empower patients to become active participants in their care and to contribute to ensuring that their care is safe and of high standard”, the Minister said.

The Minister also endorsed the HSE’s development of support materials for the health service to address the key area of clinical governance. Two documents have been developed – the Clinical Governance Information Leaflet, and Clinical Governance Development: an assurance check for health service providers. The leaflets are intended as a guide to clinical governance development across the health system.

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

The conference is being streamed live at http://www.rcpi.public-i.tv/site/player/index.php?a=72864 at 9am

Patient Safety Initiative:

In September 2010 the ‘Patient Safety First’ declaration of commitment was launched. This initiative provided a common identity under which the commitment was intended to create the momentum for positive change towards patient safety in Ireland.

The aim of this year’s Conference is to promote the objectives of 'Patient Safety First', provide updates in relation to current developments and provide a forum for networking and interaction between key stakeholders in relation to the patient safety agenda. International speakers from Canada and Denmark will speak on the patient safety agenda in their respective countries. National speakers will present on a wide range of initiatives which will show-case examples of good practice at local level.

Two Significant HSE Initiatives

  1. Health Service Charter:
  2. The Department of Health together with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in 2008 committed to the development of a Health Service Charter. This health service charter, which is titled You and Your Health Service, was launched at the previous Patient Safety First Conference in 2010.

    You and Your Health Service - what it does

    • It outlines supporting arrangements for a partnership of care between everyone involved in healthcare –patients/service users, families, carers and healthcare providers.
    • It supports a healthcare culture that delivers health and social care services in a predictable, preventative, personal and participatory way.
    • It recognises that there are different roles and responsibilities for both service users and healthcare providers.
    • It promotes the importance of service users as active individuals in their own care, with diverse needs and not just with a medical condition to be treated.
    • It applies to all public health and social care services including community care services and acute hospital services.

    Implementation of You and Your Health Service will be monitored through gathering patient feedback on their experience of services. This will enable the HSE to improve the quality of care for the service user and to demonstrate it is delivering person-centred care and support.

  3. HSE Clinical Governance
  4. The Quality and Safety Directorate of the HSE has been developing support materials for the health service addressing the key area of clinical governance. The materials are intended as a guide to clinical governance development across the health system. Two documents have been developed and are being launched in conjunction with the Conference – the Clinical Governance Information Leaflet, and Clinical Governance Development: an assurance check for health service providers.