The National Clinical Guideline

In February 2013 the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly launched an important new patient safety initiative - the first National Clinical Guideline - the National Early Warning Score for Ireland.

National Clinical Guidelines will help to further improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare across Ireland. The National Guideline was recommended for endorsement to the Minister by the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee.

The Irish National Early Warning System (INEWS) facilitates the timely assessment of and response to the deterioration of acutely ill adult non-pregnant patients in the acute hospital setting.

The Department of Health National Patient Safety Office/National Clinical Effectiveness Committee requires updating of ministerially endorsed national clinical guidelines on a three-yearly basis.

Revision of the National Early Warning System (NEWS) National Clinical Guideline No. 1 (NEWS NCG No.1) was completed in 2020 under auspices of the Deteriorating Patient Improvement Programme.

NEWS guideline revision was underpinned by a Department of Health commissioned a systematic review of the literature, undertaken by the Health Research Board – Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews (HRB-CICER). A multidisciplinary Guideline Development Group (GDG) including 3 patient representatives utilised a variety of evidence sources (literature review, multidisciplinary focus groups, QAV healthcare audit findings) in the review and revision of the guideline. 

A Consultant Advisory Group (CAG) convened by the CCO provided expert clinical advice and guidance on key emerging clinical issues.

A draft revised NCEC National Clinical Guideline (NCG) No.1 NEWS was sent for public consultation. The revised guideline NCEC NCG No.1 INEWS V2 was published by the National Patient Safety Office in the Department of Health in September 2020 and is available here.

The Chief Clinical Officer (CCO), HSE, Dr Colm Henry has included the work of the  Deteriorating Patient Improvement Programme (DPIP) as one of the key patient safety priorities within the HSE National Service Plans.