Licensing legislation proposals for government this year

Proposals for licensing legislation are to be submitted to the Government by the end of 2010, with a Bill to be published in 2011, Dr. Philip Crowley, told a meeting of the Healthcare Risk Managers’ Forum.

Proposals for licensing legislation are to be submitted to the Government by the end of 2010, with a Bill to be published in 2011, Dr. Philip Crowley, Assistant Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Health & Children,  told  the Educational and Networking meeting of the Healthcare Risk Managers’ Forum (HRMF) in Dr. Steevens Hospital, Dublin.

Dr. Philip Crowley
Dr. Philip Crowley

Dr. Crowley was updating the HRMF on progress with the implementation of the recommendations for organisational, regulatory and educational reform, following the Commission’s report – Building a Culture of Patient Safety – published August 2008.

He said legal protections for open disclosure of patient safety incidents to patients, adverse event reporting and clinical audit are included in the Health Information Bill.

Dr. Crowley said work is advanced on quality standards to underpin licensing – this is going out to consultation now.

The Implementation Support Group has agreed to establish a National Health Clinical Effectiveness Advisory Committee, which will report initially to the Chief Medical Officer.

A communications plan, together with a website and the patient safety brand PATIENT SAFETY FIRST, has been agreed and will be launched shortly.

Work is advanced to develop service quality guarantees that patients can expect. This is out for public consultation in the document “The HSE and You”.

The HSE National Service Plan 2010 contains targets on patient involvement.

The Australian National Patient Safety Education Framework and the WHO Curriculum Guide have been endorsed for Ireland.

A Forum of professional regulators has been established.

A proposal for a national approach to the management of incidents in health and social care is being developed. This will describe a standardised policy and procedure for the management of all incidents.

A proposal for a national approach to the management of incidents in health and social care is being developed

The DoHC will ensure that service users are consulted as appropriate in the development of policy, including through focus groups and service user for a.

Dr. Crowley indicated the following expected completion dates for the various pieces of work of the commission:

Proposals for the licensing legislation are expected to be submitted to Government in 2010.

All of the other projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2010 by which time either the recommendations will have been implemented or appropriate arrangements will be in place to ensure their implementation.

Timescales for full implementation of recommendations will vary between projects.

Dr. Joe Devlin
Dr. Joe Devlin

The need for collaborative working to ensure strong effective governance and safe effective care was emphasised by Dr. Joe Devlin, Quality and Clinical Care Directorate, HSE, in his presentation to the HMRF.

Entitled “Future vision for Healthcare Risk Management in the HSE” he outlined the new QCCD Structures and said that its mission was to: “enable better social and clinical care at less cost that results in high quality and sustainable services”

The vision of the Directorate was to embed a cycle of continuous improvement throughout healthcare and to establish how the Directorate would link with other HSE functions.

He summarised the five clinical care programmes including the following:

  • Chronic disease management programmes
  • Outpatient management programmes
  • Emergency function related programmes
  • Other clinical programme areas including obstetrics, paediatrics, ICU, HCAI, primary care and neurorehabilitation
  • Enabling programmes

Dr. Devlin went on to discuss the programme deliverables and the advantages of the programme approach. He concluded by describing the quality, safety and risk structures detailing initiatives in the areas of clinical audit, risk register work, complaint and incident management.

He said current priorities included the implementation of the quality and risk standard, and a review of standards with a view to possibly collapsing these where possible for greater efficiency in quality and risk management and improvement.

He stressed the need to focus in future on service user involvement, optimum accountability arrangements and organisational design, and enhanced consultation and engagement with all stakeholders.

Ms. Anne Maria O’ Connor, Senior Inspector, Health and Safety Authority outlined the Health and Safety Authority’s five year plan for the healthcare sector in her presentation.   She outlined that the plan identified key occupational  health and safety issues for the sector and set out objectives and actions that the Authority will take in conjunction  with other relevant organisations over the next five years to reduce the rate of work related accidents, incidents and ill-health in the healthcare sector.

The plan gave a commitment to establishing a Healthcare Advisory Group (to be called the Healthcare Steering Group) with internal and external stakeholders.

She outlined the six key objectives as follows:

  • Engagement with key stakeholders (as outlined above)
  • Compliance via targeted inspections and enforcement
  • Influencing the content of existing Education and Training
  • Guidance and intervention tools
  • Enhanced information
  • Raising awareness

The key issues to be prioritised in year 1 and year 2 include:

  • Liaise with key regulators
  • Formalise communication channels with the HSE
  • Engage with existing national and partnership structures
  • Health and Safety Technical Group
  • Sector specific information for inspectors
  • Identify priority topics and areas
  • Increase the number of inspections
  • Support health and safety education and training
  • Promote and inform through seminars and events
  • Guidance for the smaller healthcare provider
  • Produce guidance for and develop the web
  • Review data collection systems

For further information on the Healthcare Risk Managers’ Forum (HRMF) and details of the next Education and Networking meeting please contact jp.kehoe@hse.ie