Minister for Health, Simon Harris, recently published the Implementation Plan for the Recommendations in CervicalCheck Screening Programme.

In April of this year, the CervicalCheck screening controversy rocked the nation. In September 2018, Dr Gabriel Scally published his scoping report, which was sharply critical of the HSE’s approach to the concept of open disclosure. Dr Scally found that a culture of secrecy and silence existed within the medical profession which was anathema to providing an open, honest and transparent environment when things go wrong in medicine. The Implementation Plan sets 126 actions addressing Dr Scally recommendations across several areas including governance and management, procurement of laboratory services, auditing, open disclosure, cancer registration, other screening programmes and resolution.

The Implementation Plan was overseen by the CervicalCheck Steering Committee. The Implementation Plan noted that the Department of Health is to oversee the introduction of the Patient Safety Bill, which includes mandatory requirements for both open disclosure and reporting of serious patient safety incidents. This important patient safety Bill is hoped to be introduced in 2019.

Ronan Hynes, Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution at Sellors commented: “The introduction of the Patient Safety Bill is long overdue and will represent a significant milestone for patient safety in Ireland. The Bill goes further than its UK equivalent and places the onus of mandatory open disclosure not only on the healthcare service provider but also on individual healthcare practitioners. Currently, there is a significant under reporting of medical incidents in Ireland. Therefore, training and preparation will be key as this represents a significant cultural shift for the medical profession. Robust regulation will also be required if it is going to improve patient safety in the long term.”

A full copy of the CervicalCheck Implementation Plan is available at https://health.gov.ie/wp-content/u https://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Implementation-Plan-for-Recommendations-of-the-Scoping-Inquiry.pdfploads/2018/12/Implementation-Plan-for-Recommendations-of-the-Scoping-Inquiry.pdf.

For more information, please contact Ronan Hynes, or a member of our Serious Injury Team on 061 432 348 or by email at info@sellors.ie.

 

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