Health Information and Quality Authority Publishes Terms of Reference for the Investigation into the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis
The Health Information and Quality Authority has today published the terms of reference for the independent investigation into the quality and safety of patient care at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis.
The investigation will seek to establish if safe, quality services are in place at the Hospital and, if risks to patients are identified, recommendations will be made to address them. Where appropriate, national recommendations on wider service improvements will also be made.
Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority, said “The investigation team will review the arrangements for providing safe, quality clinical care which will include how the Hospital focuses on the needs of patients, the management and leadership at the Hospital. The Investigation Team will also review the systems and processes that support safety and quality and the communication between staff and patients, particularly when patient safety incidents occur and when complaints are made”.
“As part of the investigation, the Authority’s investigation team will also take into account the experiences of patients and their families from recent cases”.
The investigation will be conducted by a team appointed and authorised by the Health Information and Quality Authority in accordance with the Health Act 2007. The membership of the investigation team is currently being finalised and will be published when concluded. In the interest of a fair and thorough investigation, the Authority does not intend to make any further public comment until the investigation has concluded. The investigation report, and its recommendations, will be published following the completion of the investigation.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
In accordance with a request made by the Minister for Health and Children under Section 9(2) of the Health Act 2007 (the Act), the Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority) will undertake an investigation into the quality and safety of services¹ and supporting arrangements provided by the Health Service Executive (the Executive) at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis (the Hospital).
The Investigation will seek to ascertain whether safe, quality services and practices are in place and, if this is not the case, to ensure that where there may be a serious risk to the health or welfare of a person(s) receiving such services from the Executive, these risks shall be identified and recommendations made with a view to eliminating or ameliorating the risks for patients. The Investigation shall be carried out within the following terms:
1. To investigate the planning, management and provision of clinical services in the Hospital (including services provided in the emergency department) to include, but not be limited to, the referral, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients.
2. In undertaking term 1, the Investigation Team will review the arrangements for providing safe, quality clinical care to include, but not be limited to:
- how the needs of patients to access safe, quality clinical care in the appropriate setting are being met within the Hospital’s geographical region, including issues relating to service design, staff skills and teamwork
- the governance, management and leadership of the Hospital including the management and use of information, communication between staff and between patients and staff, the management of complaints and patient safety incidents and the related communications with patients and relatives/carers
- the resources available to the Executive and the requirement that it uses its available resources in the most beneficial, effective and efficient manner to improve, promote and protect the health and welfare of the public.
3. The Investigation Team will take into account the experiences of patients and family members from recent cases as part of the investigation.
4. The Investigation Team will also take into account the findings and recommendations of previous investigations undertaken by the Authority and the recently published report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance.
5. The Investigation shall be carried out in whatever manner and with whatever methodology the Investigation Team believes is the most appropriate. The scope of the Investigation will be limited to those aspects of safety and quality that the Investigation Team considers are most relevant and material to the Investigation.
6. If, in the course of the Investigation, it becomes apparent that there are further reasonable grounds to believe that there is a serious risk to the health or welfare of any person and that further investigation is necessary beyond the scope of these terms of reference, the Investigation Team may in the interests of investigating all relevant matters, and with the formal approval of the Authority, extend these terms to include such further investigation within their scope or recommend to the Authority, and the Minister for Health and Children, that a new investigation should be commenced as appropriate.
7. The Investigation Team shall undertake the work of the Investigation in three months. Following this, the Investigation Team shall prepare a report which, once ready for publication by the Authority, will be submitted to the Board of the Authority for approval. This report shall outline the Investigation, its findings, conclusions and any recommendations that the Investigation Team sees fit to make. In the interests of wider service improvement, national recommendations may also be made where the Investigation team considers appropriate.
8. The investigation will be conducted by a Team appointed and authorised by the Authority in accordance with section 70 of the Health Act 2007. The Team will carry out the investigation pursuant to powers contained in Part 9 of the Act.
¹ As defined under section 8 (1) b of the Health Act 2007
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
01 8047651 / 086 2447623 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to the Editor:
On 24th September, following a meeting of the Board of the Health Information and Quality Authority, and a request from the Minister for Health and Children, the Authority confirmed it would undertake an independent investigation of the management of quality and safety arrangements at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis, pursuant to Section 9(2) of the Health Act 2007.
The Health Information and Quality Authority is the independent Authority which has been established to drive continuous improvement in Ireland’s health and social care services. The Authority was established as part of the Government’s overall Health Service Reform Programme. The Authority’s mandate extends across the quality and safety of the public, private (within its social care function) and voluntary sectors.