Open Disclosure Information

Open Disclosure

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.

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

About our policy

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.

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

Read a summary of the policy here

Read the full policy document here

Meeting when something goes wrong

If something has gone wrong with your care, you can expect to have a meeting with us to discuss this.  

Sometimes more than one meeting may be necessary depending on what has happened.

Before this meeting we will assign a member of staff as your point of contact. This staff member will answer any of your questions about the meeting and will explain anything that is unclear.

You can nominate a family member or support person to attend this meeting with you.

Others attending the meeting will be some of the staff who cared for you.

At the meeting we will tell you all the facts available to us about what has happened to you. You will receive a sincere apology if we made an error when caring for you.  

We will record the details of the meeting in your health care record. You can ask to see your health care record at any time.

Sometimes it will be necessary for us to review your care and this may take some weeks. If this happens we will involve you in the review process and will tell you about the findings of this review. 

Preparing for a meeting

Think about who you would like to have with you at the meeting to support you. Also consider the healthcare staff that you think should be there.

Prepare a list of questions you want to ask in relation to what has happened and your on-going care.

Your staff contact will help you to prepare for this meeting.


Contact Information: 

National Open Disclosure Office


Open Disclosure- Information for HSE Employees

National Open Disclosure Steering Committee

Managing Open Disclosure under the Provisions of Part 4 of the Civil Liability Amendment Act 2017

Useful Links