In a positive and constructive meeting, members of the Committee on Health and Children today received a thorough and in-depth briefing from Dr Tracey Cooper, chief executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) on its report into Tallaght Hospital.
Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “Today we had an opportunity to hear at first hand from the chief executive of HIQA on its report into Tallaght Hospital. That report arose from an investigation following the death on a corridor of a patient awaiting admission in March 2011 and it highlights the fact that the problems at Tallaght extended beyond local management to top levels of the HSE and the Department of Health. HIQA found that substantial governance and management issues were present for a number of years and that neither the hospital nor the HSE took sufficient action. The report goes further in highlighting a failure of governance in the health system which failed to hold a service provider to account for the performance, delivery and quality of service. Since the investigation commenced, there have been significant improvements in the leadership and governance in the hospital.
I agree with Dr Cooper that the HIQA report is a decisive point in the journey to modernising the way our health system is run. Patient safety in any hospital should be paramount and patients deserve a health system where they are confident they can receive quality care in a safe environment.
HIQA has set out a clear set of recommendations which aim to improve the governance of hospitals. Hospital and HSE managers now have a duty to make sure that these recommendations are acted upon to deliver a health system which clearly places the patient at its centre. The implementation of these recommendations should lead to further improvements in quality, safety and governance throughout our healthcare system. The report also calls for political commitment to improving quality, safety and governance of our health system.
This report should serve as a guide for future governance and patient care for our hospital system and its recommendations should be implemented without delay to deliver a health system which clearly places the patient at its centre.
I would like to thank Dr Cooper for her comprehensive, constructive and thought-provoking presentation to the Committee at today’s meeting which provided a valuable contribution to our understanding of the issues involved in Tallaght hospital in particular and the wider health system in general.”