HIQA Outlines Actions as a Result of Issues Raised in the Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH), Tallaght

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The Health Information and Quality Authority today outlined a series of actions it is taking in relation to issues that have arisen in the Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH), Tallaght. 

The Board of the AMNCH and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have recently announced their own initiatives in relation to these issues. As the Regulator of health services in Ireland, the Authority will closely performance monitor the implementation of these initiatives. The Authority must assure itself, patients and the public that the hospital is providing good, safe care. It will also monitor the HSE’s Review into the backlog of reported radiology examinations and unprocessed General Practitioner (GP) patient referral letters at the AMNCH, to ensure that lessons are learnt and recommendations are implemented locally and nationally.

The Authority’s Chief Executive, Dr Tracey Cooper, said: “The Board of the Authority has discussed the most appropriate actions that the Authority should take regarding the AMNCH in the best interests of patient safety. As the Regulator of health services, the Authority must provide an assurance oversight of the various changes and developments announced by the Hospital and the HSE. Consequently, the Authority will closely monitor both the Hospital and the HSE against their stipulated actions and expects both organisations to undertake whatever is necessary to address any patient safety issues that may arise. However, it will keep this oversight subject to ongoing review in order to ensure that the necessary assurances are being met through these means”

In relation to the AMNCH, the Authority is requiring the Hospital to:

  • develop a detailed Governance and Quality Improvement Plan aimed at strengthening the governance, management and any clinical service issues in the Hospital where required, within two weeks which will be subject to approval by the Authority
  • establish a central monitoring function for all serious patient adverse events, complaints, claims and key performance indicators that will be available to the Authority as required
  • disclose openly to the Authority any issue of serious concern regarding the quality and safety of services for patients, both currently and on an ongoing basis.

The Authority has scheduled regular performance monitoring meetings with the Hospital, chaired by the Authority. These meetings will assess i) the Hospital’s evidence of progress against the implementation of the Plan, ii) the HSE and Hospital’s progress in addressing the current backlog of reported radiology examinations and unprocessed GP referral letters, together with any other issues that may need to be discussed.

In relation to the HSE’s review, the Authority will establish regular progress reporting mechanisms with the HSE, including immediate notification to the Authority should any further patient safety issues be identified.

Dr Cooper added that “It is also important that the issues that arose in the AMNCH are reviewed nationally by the HSE, and other providers, to ensure that similar issues do not occur in other hospitals and, where any issues are identified, they are addressed promptly and on a sustainable basis.”

In relation to the national learning resulting from the backlog of unprocessed GP patient referral letters that accumulated at the AMNCH, the Authority has recently been in discussions with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and will, in collaboration with the ICGP, be undertaking a national review of the patient referral process between GPs and Hospitals. The aim of this Review will be to assess the current arrangements that are in place across the country with the view to making recommendations for a consistent approach nationally that will improve the care and access for patients.


Further Information: 

Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

01 814 7481 / 086 2447 623 mwhelan@hiqa.ie