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Report critical of HSE for ignoring own safety audits


Portlaoise hospital: audit found mixed results

Portlaoise hospital: audit found mixed results

Pic Frank Mc Grath

Portlaoise hospital: audit found mixed results

An internal HSE report has expressed serious concern about the failure to implement many of the recommendations in its own patient safety audits.

It said that "low implementation" is a recurring theme across the health services and suggests there is an urgent need to scrutinise the issue.

The HSE has already been criticised for not implementing the recommendations of outside bodies such as the patient safety watchdog Hiqa.

However, in a new report Dr Edwina Dunne, Director of Quality and Patient Safety Audit in the HSE, said a review of recommendations, made by its own investigators, found 30pc had not even got off the ground.

The report looked at audits covering areas such as measures to ensure the protection of people with intellectual disability from abuse.

Other audits reviewed examined compliance with an early warning system of alerts to detect if a woman who is pregnant or has given birth is in difficulties in a maternity unit.

They were carried out between June 2013 and June 2014. Out of the other 81 recommendations, 27pc were implemented and 28pc were in progress.

Areas where no progress was made included better documentation and records management, improved communiction and increased performance monitoring.

Meanwhile, another audit of how well staff in the maternity unit of Portlaoise Hospital were practising a system of picking up potential difficulties in women who were patients in the hospital has found mixed results.

The audit was carried out in February at the unit where five babies died over several years.

It showed in the case of 24 triggers that the recommended timeframe for repeated checks of the patients was not followed.

"The length of delay was highly variable. In 19 triggers the delay was between 15 minutes and four hours.

"But six were delayed by six hours and three were outside the time by 10 hours."

Irish Independent