About the Open Disclosure 2013 Policy

The HSE’s Open Disclosure Policy 2013 was designed specifically to deal with adverse events in a transparent and open manner. Many of the Open Disclosure principles can be mapped across when dealing with feedback from Service Users.

Open Disclosure involves an open, consistent approach to communicating with Service Users when things go wrong in healthcare.  This includes expressing regret for what has happened, keeping the Service User informed, providing feedback on investigations and the steps taken to prevent recurrence of an adverse event.

Your Service Your Say, the Management of Service User Feedback for Comments, Compliments and Complaints 2017 and Guidance Manual adopts all relevant principles to promote a culture of openness and transparency, in line with the HSE’s Open Disclosure Policy. 

For those dealing with formal written complaints, i.e. Complaints Officers, Review Officers and relevant parties, e.g. QPS/Clinical Director (for matters relating to Clinical Judgment), the relevant principles of Open Disclosure must be adopted.  All communication with Service Users and/or their families/support persons must be carried out in an empathetic, informed and timely manner.  The principles of Open Disclosure form the basis of an ethical response and promote a fair and just culture within the HSE, and when employed effectively in the feedback process can lead to improved Service User and staff acceptance of the outcomes and all recommendations.

It is recommended that all staff involved in the feedback process familiarise themselves with the Open Disclosure Policy and its guiding principles, which are available from: www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/qid/other-quality-improvement-programmes/opendisclosure/