Minister officially opens 4th National Patient Safety Conference

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar today officially opened the Fourth National Patient Safety Conference in the Croke Park Conference Centre.

Minister Varadkar said: “Health service reforms should always focus on the needs of patients, and should help professionals to develop and improve their services. New structures have been created in the HSE and in my Department to advance patient safety and clinical effectiveness. Work on developing a Code of Conduct for Health Service Employees and Managers is underway in my Department, as recommended by the HIQA Report into the death of Ms Savita Halappanavar.

“My Department is also working on a National Healthcare Quality Reporting System to compare the quality of healthcare across our country and internationally. The first annual report is expected by the end of this year. Work is also underway on the four new National Clinical Guidelines on Sepsis, Maternity and Paediatric Early Warning Scores and Clinical Handover. But we must constantly strive to improve our services and ensure that patient safety is at the core of our health services.”

This Conference follows on from the launch of the “Patient Safety First Initiative” at the first Patient Safety Conference in September 2010. The Conference aims to promote the objectives of Patient Safety First, provide updates in relation to current developments and provide a forum for networking and interaction between key stakeholders in relation to the patient safety agenda. This year’s programme includes UK speakers and national speakers, updates on patient safety initiatives and examples of local good practice.

The huge interest in the Conference is reflected in the number of registrations – over 400 – and the number of abstract papers submitted – 107 – and is concrete evidence that patient safety is foremost in the delivery of health and social services.