HSE publishes first Progress Report on the Implementation Plan of the HIQA investigation into the care received by Rebecca O'Malley

October 1, 2008

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has today published the first progress report on the implementation plan for recommendations of the investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) into the circumstances surrounding the provision of care to Rebecca O'Malley, in relation to her symptomatic breast disease, the Pathology Services at Cork University Hospital and Symptomatic Breast Disease Services at the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick publicly available.

You can read or download this report at the link below.

The HSE is dedicated to delivering a health service where everyone has easy access to high quality care that they can have confidence in and that staff are proud to provide. We would like to reiterate our apology to Rebecca O'Malley and her family for their experience of care. As is evident from this first progress report, the concerns Rebecca O'Malley voiced and subsequent investigation by HIQA is helping to drive quality improvement for the benefit of other patients and families who use our services. These improvements will ensure that patients and their families feel safe in our care and are confident that the service they receive will offer them the best possible outcome.

The first Progress Report outlines developments that have occurred between June and August 2008. Much of the progress focuses on the re organisation and transfer of services within the National Cancer Control Programme. It also outlines the progress in the implementation of the National Quality Assurance Standards for Symptomatic Breast Services. While this progress report is clearly focused on the implementation of the specific recommendations, the NCCP is obviously focused on delivering improvements in all aspects of breast services. As a consequence, the NCCP has decided to integrate necessary assurance activity at the end of 2008 rather than to manage assurance of progress on implementation of the recommendations in the HIQA investigation seperately. This is now reflected in the timelines for audit activity to be undertaken by the NCCP in the Progress Report.

Triple assessment, which is the subject of the ninth recommendation, is a key quality assurance measure for women presenting to services with breast symptoms. The clinical, radiological and pathological components of triple assessment are in place in all designated breast centres. Staff recruitment in Limerick and Waterford will ensure that in addition to providing all three components of triple assessment, which is already the case, these components will take place in "one-stop" at first assessment rather than in a staged approach to further improve the experience for women who use these centres.

Progress on this implementation plan was collated by the National Director of the National Hospitals Office from across the HSE. The Progress report has been formally noted by the Board of the HSE. It was be provided to the Department for Health and Children, HIQA and to Rebecca O'Malley herself. The next progress report will be made available in late December.


Last updated on: 01 / 10 / 2008