Progress Reports on learning from HIQA investigations

The HSE has published three reports describing the progress which has been made in implementing learning from HIQA investigations into the quality and safety of services. These reports are available to the right of this page, by clicking on the pdf icons.

To date, HIQA has undertaken three investigations into the quality and safety of services in hospitals operated or funded by the HSE.  You can read the original reports and reviews on the HIQA website at the following links: 

Each of these reports is informed by the experience of patients and families.  We recognise the courage of these individuals in bringing forward their concerns publicly and thank them for this.  We would like to apologise to the patients and families whose experiences of care provided by the HSE led to these investigations.  As is evident from the progress reports published today, the concerns they voiced and subsequent investigation by HIQA is helping to drive quality improvement for the benefit of other patients and families who use our services.

These improvements will ensure that everyone feels safe in our care and are confident that the services they receive will offer them the best possible outcome. 

When adverse events are identified in the provision of healthcare, it is important that these events are reported and investigated.  The identification, reporting and investigation of adverse events provide valuable opportunity for healthcare providers to learn from mistakes and to implement improvement to reduce the risks associated with delivering care.  The progress described in each of these reports demonstrate how the HSE has applied learning from identified weakness in the delivery of care so as to bring about improvements which will benefit future service users.

Services for symptomatic breast disease were the focus of the first and second HIQA investigations.  Through change driven by Prof Tom Keane and the National Cancer Control Programme, these services have undergone significant modernisation and improvement across the country.  Women and their families accessing care through designated breast centres today can be more confident than before that they will experience a positive outcome. 

The configuration of acute hospital services was the focus for the third HIQA investigation.  The HIQA report concluded that the historic configuration of services in the Mid-West was not consistent with modern acute hospital care.  It endorsed the need for the HSE to continue to reconfigure services and supported the change already underway across hospitals in the Mid-West.  This finding had implications outside the Mid-West.  It underlined the fact that we can’t side-step the difficult decisions about the configuration of our acute hospitals and that patients, families, communities, clinicians and politicians need to work with the HSE to bring about change because it is the right thing to do for patient safety.  As set out in the progress report, besides continuing with the programme of change in the Mid-West, the HSE is developing and re-organising the delivery of services nationally.  These changes will deliver stronger healthcare services which are centred on the needs of the local population and are consistent with current international evidence and best practice.

The HSE is dedicated to delivering a health service where everyone has easy access to high quality care that they can have confidence in and that staff are proud to provide.  This objective underpins our service planning and more recently drove a number of key changes in management arrangements supporting our services, in particular the establishment of a Quality and Clinical Care Directorate led by Dr Barry White.  We are currently working with a number of other agencies, including the Department of Health and Children and HIQA to implement recommendations made by the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance.