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New national standards for the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents have been published in an effort to promote an open culture in acute hospitals under HIQA’s remit in addition to mental health services that are under the remit of the Mental Health Commission (MHC) to ensure that services act in a transparent, standardised and person-centred way to review patient safety incidents and learn from them.

The standards were jointly developed by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission, emphasising the need to support and involve service users in the review of patient safety incidents and set timelines for services to follow when a patient safety incident occurs.

Commenting on the National Standards, Rosemary Smyth, the MHC’s Director of Standards and Quality Assurance & Director of Training and Development, said: “Patient safety is an absolute priority, and the publication of these standards promotes a clear and transparent framework for reviewing patient safety incidents.

“They encourage an open approach to incidents, which ensure the patient is at the heart of every review. The standards acknowledge that sometimes things go wrong, but that lessons can be learned and shared across services, both locally and nationally, to improve patient safety”.

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Standards and Health Information, claimed that these standards will highlight the future quality and safety of patient care as a priority.

The standards were informed by a review of national and international literature and from a number of meetings with the Standards Advisory Group comprised of service users, healthcare professionals, and representatives from the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive (HSE), the State Claims Agency, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Private Hospitals Association of Ireland.

The Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris TD, has approved the standards and is launching them at the National Patient Safety Office Conference today.