Welcome to the latest issue of HIQA News.
Since our last issue, we have engaged extensively with our stakeholders in the health and social care sector with the goal of making services safer and promoting a greater culture of respect for people using services. This edition reports on a number of developments to this end.
Our Healthcare team is embarking on a review of nutrition and hydration care in the country’s acute hospitals. It is also examining how hospitals use antibiotics, with a view to reducing Healthcare Associated Infections, and it has issued guidance on lessons from previous HIQA investigations and reviews.
We continue to promote service improvements in nursing homes, residential services for people with disabilities, and children’s residential services, and to work with staff to achieve this. We also hope you can help us determine, as part of a public consultation, our priorities for our next corporate plan.
Our Health Technology Assessment (HTA) team has just published recommendations on screening for a common abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, and we will shortly be consulting with the public on a draft HTA on changes to the BCG vaccination programme for the prevention of TB in Ireland.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rachel Flynn as Director of Health Information. Rachel comes with significant experience in the field of health informatics and has worked very effectively as a leader in this field.
Rachel Flynn, HIQA's newly appointed Director of Health Information
In related developments, new standards for the individual health identifiers have also been published, while work continues on developing recommendations for patient-safety surveillance systems for Ireland.
Meanwhile, some residential centres for people with disabilities have in recent times been the focus of much public concern. Nonetheless, many centres are adapting well to the new regulatory environment and are complying with the requirements of the regulations and National Standards.
This is a welcome development. However, in many centres, we continue to see failures to safeguard residents, poor standards of care, and poor oversight and governance. All of these deficiencies erode the rights, respect and dignity of people living in these centres.
While we recently took the unprecedented action of cancelling a provider’s registration due to significant issues seen in a Co Kilkenny centre, we will continue to prioritise our engagement with poorly performing services to ensure that residents and their families are provided with the quality of service that they are entitled to.
Finally, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between HIQA and the Office of the Ombudsman. The MoU will facilitate the exchange of information and complaints between both organisations in the best interests of the public and the health and social care services.
Until the next time, very best wishes to all.
Phelim Quinn, Chief Executive
Our Chief Executive Phelim Quinn