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National Healthcare Quality Reporting System – Annual Report 2017

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This is the third annual report of the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS). This report makes publicly available information on the quality and safety of healthcare across the Irish health system.

Its focus is on a balanced set of healthcare data that gives an overview of how our health service is performing compared to international health systems. This framework will build over time and it is acknowledged that future editions will evolve to incorporate measures of quality in the community and prehospital settings, as reliable and valid data becomes available

Ireland’s first national survey of patient experience in public hospitals launched

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Logo of the National Patient Experience Survey

Ireland’s first ever national survey of patients’ experience in public acute hospitals launched

Pictured at the launch of the National Patient Experience Survey were Minister for Health Simon Harris TD (left), HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn, and Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, and Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has today launched the National Patient Experience Survey, the first of its kind in Ireland.

The survey starts on 1 May and will give patients an opportunity to describe their experiences in order to improve care.

Up to 27,000 patients will be eligible to take part, making this the largest single survey of the healthcare system in Ireland.

The survey will involve adult patients who:

  • spend 24 hours or more in any of the 40 participating public hospitals
  • are discharged from hospital during May 2017
  • have a postal address in the Republic of Ireland.

Patients will be asked questions on topics such as confidence in hospital staff, hospital food, and their care and treatment.

They will also be asked whether their medications and possible side-effects were explained before they were allowed home from hospital.

Stock photo of a patient and a doctor, with text asking patients to tell us about their experience

Improving outcomes for patients

The National Patient Experience Survey Programme is a joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health.

Data collected from the survey will be used to shape future healthcare policy and improve outcomes for patients. The survey will be a key building block in the creation of a strong patient safety culture in our health service.

At the launch of the National Patient Experience Survey today were Brigid Doherty, Patient Advocate with Patient Focus, and Minister for Health Simon Harris TD

“I welcome this significant new patient safety innovation in our health service”

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said: “I am delighted to welcome this significant new patient safety innovation to our healthcare service. This joined-up approach between my Department, the HSE and HIQA is a concrete sign of the commitment all of us – policy makers, service providers and regulators – have to improving the quality and the safety of our health services for patients.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD

Sheila O’Connor of Patient Focus

Sheila O’Connor of Patient Focus

“Through this survey, patients’ voices can begin to be heard and listened to”

Sheila O’Connor, of the national patient advocacy organisation Patient Focus, said: “Patient Focus welcomes the National Patient Experience Survey. The experiences of patients are crucial to the evaluation of the service provided by our hospitals. For too long patients’ voices have not been consistently heard. This initiative is a first, but important part of the solution. By means of this survey, patients can tell of their own personal experiences so that their voices can begin to be heard and listened to.”

“The survey is part of a grass-roots led approach to quality improvement”

Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Service Executive (HSE), said: “The HSE welcomes this significant and very important survey programme, which will provide the organisation with robust, evidence-based information about patient experience across acute hospital services in Ireland. The survey is part of a grass-roots led approach to quality improvement. We want to drive quality across the system by listening to the experiences of patients, finding out what is working and what needs to be improved upon.”

Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Service Executive (HSE)

Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Service Executive (HSE)

Rachel Flynn, Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey

Rachel Flynn, Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey

“National Patient Experience Survey will help to identify best practices”

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, and Programme Director for the National Patient Experience Survey, said: “As the regulator of health and social care services in Ireland and the body responsible for setting standards for these services, HIQA is delighted to lead on the delivery of this survey. Patient experience surveys help to identify not only areas for improvement, but also examples of best practice. By listening to the experience and feedback of patients who complete this survey, we can enhance the quality and safety of care provided to patients in Ireland.”

At the launch today of the National Patient Experience Survey were HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn; Minister for Health Simon Harris TD; and Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Service Executive (HSE)

Patients’ views play a significant role in improving health outcomes

Evidence from other countries suggests that learning from the experience of patients is the best way to improve health outcomes. Patients become engaged, active and informed about their care. Service providers benefit as areas for improving patient care in individual units are identified, assurance in the quality of care is provided, and care can be benchmarked.

All survey responses will be combined to produce national, hospital group and local reports on patients’ experience to improve the planning and delivery of our health service.

Further information about the survey can be found at www.patientexperience.ie.

Patient Focus supports Ombudsman’s Investigation

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Patient Focus received a request from the Office of the Ombudsman to help with their investigation of how public hospitals handle complaints.

The Ombudsman Peter Tyndall at the Press Conference to announce this initiative, on Friday 13 June 2014, said –

“Despite the high number of interactions with our hospitals, relatively few people complain when they are unhappy with the service they receive. Compared with other jurisdictions, complaints to the HSE and to my Office are very low. I want to find out why this is.I want to ensure that people have access to an efficient and effective complaints handling service and to be confident that where poor service is found, the health service is learning from its mistakes and preventing recurrence”.

Patient Focus agrees with the Ombudsman and believes that this is a very important piece of work with huge potential to improve the service people receive in our public hospitals, in particular by improving learning from mistakes.

Patient Focus would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to fill in their questionnaire which is available on their website and forward it on to the Office of the Ombudsman, www.ombudsman.gov.ie. It is also available on Patient Focus website www.patientfocus.ie.

The Ombudsman has also set up other ways to tell his Office of your experiences.
By email to – hsecomplaints@ombudsman.gov.ie
By telephone to – 1890 22 30 30
By FREEPOST to – Ombudsman,18 Lower Leeson St, Freepost F5069, Dublin 2

Press Release – Symphysiotomy Redress Scheme

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Press Release 5.12.14

Patient Focus and SOS ltd welcome but are not surprised by the large number of women who have applied for redress under the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme.

We are vindicated in our position that we represented a large number of survivors who wished to avail of a non-confrontational, humane and speedy process. It was difficult to get this message across to the general public because of the hostile campaign that was waged against our clients.

We regret that our clients views were not adequately represented in some media and that some national organisations whose stated mission is too represent victims of human rights breaches choose not to hear our clients.

We rejoice for our clients who after a long dignified struggle can find some closure.

Sheila OConnor and Tom Moran