Open Disclosure


Develop and implement effective, person centred incident management (IM) and open disclosure (OD) frameworks/policies, processes and procedures which support staff to practice safely, including identifying and reporting safety incidents and managing and improving patient safety in a positive learning culture. Inform the wider system on key areas of focus from analysis and facilitate the sharing of learning.

Open disclosure means that we will communicate with you in an open, honest, timely and transparent manner if:

  • something goes wrong with your care
  • you experience harm as a result of your care
  • we think that harm may have occurred as a result of your care

This means that we will keep you fully informed of the facts in relation to what has happened.  We will also talk to you about your on-going care and treatment.

HSE Open Disclosure Policy

Under the revised policy you have a right to:
  • full knowledge about your care and treatment
  • be informed when things go wrong
  • meet with us to discuss what happened
  • a sincere apology if we made an error while caring for you
  • be treated with compassion and empathy

We revised our Open Disclosure policy in 2019 and this version:  “Communicating with Patients Following Patient Safety Incidents” replaces the HSE Open Disclosure Policy 2013.

Note: The HSE Open Disclosure Policy has been revised and went out for consultation in 2021. The launch of this revised policy is on hold due to the pending publication of the Department of Health National Open Disclosure Policy Framework and the finalisation of the pending Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019. The policy will require further alignment with these publications.

Read the HSE Open Disclosure Policy here

Read a summary of the policy here

Education and Training

Open Disclosure training is mandatory for all staff working in the HSE and HSE funded services.

Further information on the training available and Open Disclosure mandatory training requirements is available via the links below:

Open Disclosure Legislation

Information and related documents on:

COVID19 Open Disclosure Guidelines

Guideline for staff and services on managing open disclosure and the communication challenges arising during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Read the guidelines here

National Open Disclosure Steering Committee

The HSE National Open Disclosure Steering Committee (ODSC) was established in April 2019, to strengthen corporate oversight, strategic leadership and accountability with the ongoing implementation of the National Open Disclosure programme and policy. For further information and documentation for this Committee please click here.

Information and Resources

Publications: Annual Reports and Newsletters

Access our Annual Reports and Newsletters

Connect with us

National Open Disclosure Office. Email:

Lorraine Schwanberg, Assistant National Director Incident Management  

Angela Tysall, Programme Lead

Catherine Hand, Trainer & Educator

Mary Friel, Trainer & Educator

Kelly McDyer, Trainer & Educator

Sandra Lehmann, Office Administrator