HSE Media Release: 26 February 2020
The event was attended by approximately 170 community healthcare staff from across the five counties. It consisted of a series of presentations from national speakers on topics relating to the safeguarding of service users and overall patient safety. These included the Assisted Decision Making Act of 2015, the HSE Open Disclosure policy recently launched in 2019, the HSE Patient Safety strategy and the HSE Adult Safeguarding Policy.
Mr John Hayes, Chief Officer CHO 1 opened the event stating:
“It is extremely encouraging to see a packed audience of staff from across the community health services divisions to an event such as this. Safeguarding of our service users and the overall safety of our patients remains our number one priority and through learning events such as these we can continue to build upon our knowledge and awareness in this area and learn how best to put policies into practice across our services thereby continuing to ensure that the safeguarding of the population that we care remains paramount”.
Dr Samantha Hughes, Project Lead, Patient Safety Programme, Quality Assurance and Verification spoke about the HSE Patient Safety Strategy 2019 -2024. Samantha described the development of the Strategy and outlined the six Patient Safety Commitments and key strategic actions for patient safety. She highlighted that the Patient Safety Programme has been established within the Office of the Chief Clinical Officer to support the implementation of the Strategy and that this team is in the process of developing a 5-year implementation plan.
She stated that "within the Irish healthcare system there is a strong commitment to improving the safety and quality of care and many excellent initiatives are already being implemented across the health service, resulting in measurable improvements to patient safety. She described 13 patient safety priority areas for immediate HSE focus, one of which is “Safeguarding Vulnerable Patients”. She added that "key to improving patient safety will be the further development of a just and fair safety culture where staff and patients feel safe to speak up for patient safety, where we respond appropriately to patient safety incidents and learn from these incidents to prevent this harm occurring again".
To support the implementation of the Strategy, Samantha informed the group that funding for 26 Quality & Patient Safety posts across Acute, Community and Ambulance Services were included in the Service Plan for 2020 and that the key focus of these posts will be patient safety surveillance and measurement. There were also presentations by representatives from the Mental Health Commission on Health Information & Quality Authority/Mental Health Commission joint National Standards for Adult safeguarding 2019.
Tim Hanly General Manager National Safeguarding Office discussed the HSE Adult Safeguarding policy 2019. The publication of the National Safeguarding Office Report 2018 indicates once again an increase in safeguarding concerns notified to the HSE. In the past 3 years, this service has now provided an intervention and oversight role in over 30,000 safeguarding concerns. Interagency collaboration and associated public awareness are central in the protection of adults at risk of abuse in Irish society. Through its Safeguarding and Protection team in CHO 1, the HSE continues to implement a revised and updated Adult Safeguarding Policy as a core part of the organisation's service improvement plans.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering abuse, don’t be silent. Tell someone. Get support and stop the abuse. If you have a Safeguarding concern regarding an adult with a disability or an elderly person aged 65 years and over, Please contact CHO 1 Safeguarding and Protection Team on Telephone: 071 98 34660 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, call the HSE Information Line on 1850 24 1850, Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm or contact a health professional such as GP, public health nurse or social worker.
For more information visit www.hse.ie .
Last updated on: 26 / 02 / 2020