Governance for Quality: National Context for Governance

National Context for Governance

Over recent years, the health service has placed an important emphasis on quality and service user safety by developing an infrastructure for integrated quality, safety and risk management with the aim of achieving excellence in governance for quality and safety. The HIQA National Standards for Safer Better Health Care (2012) Theme 5 Leadership Governance and Management states that service providers should have clear accountability arrangements to achieve the delivery of high quality, safe and reliable healthcare. The HSE recognises the critical importance of good governance and of continually enhancing accountability arrangements. In this regard and in the context of the establishment of the Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations, the HSE is strengthening its accountability arrangements and has put in place a new Accountability Framework (National Service Plan, 2016).

Governance Overview

Governance for quality involves having the necessary structures, processes, standards and oversight in place to ensure that safe, person centred and effective services are delivered.

What is the vision for Governance for Quality and Safety?

Governance for quality and safety is an integral component of governance arrangements where:

  • Each individual, as part of a team, knows the purpose and function of leadership and accountability for good health and social care.
  • Each individual, as part of a team, knows their responsibility, level of authority and to whom they are accountable.
  • Each individual, as part of a team, understands how the principles of quality and safety can be applied in their diverse practice.
  • A culture of trust, openness, respect and caring is evident among managers, staff and service users.
  • Each individual, as part of a team, consistently demonstrates a commitment to the principles of quality and safety in decision-making.
  • Quality and safety is embedded within the overall corporate governance arrangements for the Organisation to realise improved outcomes for service users.

What are the key components for Governance for Quality and Safety?

  • Knowledge and skills: Management teams have the knowledge and skills to achieve their role in driving quality care
  • Leadership and Accountability: Management team are clear about leadership and accountability for quality and safety
  • Information: Intelligent use of information to measure, monitor and oversee quality and safety of care 
  • Culture: A culture of learning focused on quality of care is promoted throughout the organisation
  • Relationships: The organisation promotes strong relationships that partner with patients and staff to facilitate the alignment of the entire organisation around the quality of care
  • Quality Improvement: There is a quality improvement plan in place which has been developed in line with the Framework for Improving Quality and aligned with national and organisational priorities (see figure below).

Read more information on The Framework for Improving Quality

Useful Links

Who can I contact?

Your line manager or quality and safety lead may provide further advice on the adaptation, to your work context, of the resources and guidance provided here.