Patient Safety Measures Welcomed

A new package of patient safety measures announced by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, has been welcomed by Fine Gael TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Jerry Buttimer.

Ahead of a discussion of the new measures by the committee, Deputy Buttimer said it would be a significant boost to patient confidence.

"This major package of patient safety reforms includes plans to simplify the complaints procedure, enhance the powers of the Ombudsman and HIQA, and a tranche of patient safety legislation," Deputy Buttimer said.

"The Minister is also setting up a National Patient Safety Office in the Department of Health, which will report directly to the Minister and oversee the programme of patient safety measures.

"There are plans for an annual national patient experience survey, which will gather useful first-hand feedback, and a patient advocacy service to provide advice and detect worrying patient safety trends in healthcare.

"These measures, which have been agreed at Cabinet, are the most wide-ranging package of patient safety measures in Irish history. They put the patient first and will hopefully improve people’s experience of the health service.

"I know that for most people their experience of the health service is a positive one, however for those who do have a negative experience it can be very difficult and daunting to make a complaint. The measures announced today will simplify that process, as well as reducing the time taken for a legal action to be resolved.

"It is my real hope that these patient safety measures, which are patient-centred, will reduce harm and could ultimately save lives."


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