The HSE Patient Safety Strategy 2019-2024 was launched by the HSE Board in December 2019. It is the vision of the Strategy that all patients will consistently receive the safest care possible.
The Patient Safety Strategy recognises the significant action already taken across our health services to drive a culture of high quality and safety, and seeks to support and build on this work. It outlines 6 Strategy Commitments which serve as a health service Charter for Patient Safety, and 57 Strategic Actions associated with those Commitments.
The 6 Commitments are as follows:
- Empower and Engage Patients to Improve Patient Safety
- Empower Staff to Improve Patient Safety
- Anticipate and Respond to risks to Patient Safety
- Reduce Common Causes of Harm
- Measure and Learn to Improve Patient Safety
- Provide effective Leadership and Governance to Improve Patient Safety
The Patient Safety Strategy was developed primarily to guide safety improvements at service level. It is recognised that this change cannot be centrally or nationally implemented; it can, however, be supported nationally. The HSE is committed to ensuring its national level resources are aligned to supporting continued local action for patient safety.
Following the launch of the Patient Safety Strategy, in early 2020 a Patient Safety Programme was established in the HSE National Quality Assurance and Verification Team. Initial progress was made in bringing together a Programme team, working with Programme leads for each of the common causes of harm described in the Strategy, and ensuring operational plans within both Acute and Community services reflected the Strategy Commitments. In March 2020, however, the COVID-19 Pandemic resulted in the immediate redeployment of staff and refocusing of services. The Patient Safety Programme team were redeployed to Public Health on a full time basis from March 2020 through June 2021.
The formation of National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate in mid-2021 led to the establishment of a new Patient Safety Programme Office, taking up the gauntlet and addressing the need and opportunity to now bring the Strategy’s ambitions and actions to a centre stage.