UHK Issues Statement After HIQA Report Expresses Concerns

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A STATEMENT from University Hospital Kerry has been issued in response to the Health Information and Quality Authority’s report on the hospital released this morning.

Four HIQA inspectors spent two days at the hospital last September. The hospital had advance notice of the inspection.

During the inspection, HIQA inspectors found that the dignity, privacy and confidentiality of patients had been compromised, they reported poor and ineffective management arrangements at the hospital which resulted in both overcrowding and understaffing in the emergency department, as well as concerns about the quality and safety of services more generally.

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They said the hospital failed to meet national standards in five areas, representing a significant risk to people using its services.

Hospital Management has released a statement this afternoon regarding the report saying they are committed to working with HIQA for the continued benefit of their patients.

The statement in full reads: “University Hospital Kerry (UHK) acknowledges and welcomes HIQA’s detailed report following their inspection in September 2022.

Recognising the invaluable role of HIQA as an important driver of service improvement across the health service, we are committed to working with HIQA for the continued benefit of our patients.

In that regard, we extend our thanks and appreciation to the HIQA team members for their engagement with us both during and after the inspection.

HIQA’s new monitoring programme focuses on a selection of the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare (2012), with particular focus on four areas of patient safety: Infection Prevention & Control; Medication Safety, The Deteriorating Patient (including Sepsis) and Transitions of Care (including Clinical Handover).

During the inspection, HIQA’s team visited our Emergency Department, a Medical Ward and a Surgical Ward.  Overall, UHK was inspected against 14 standards – The hospital was found to be substantially compliant in 2 areas, partially compliant in 7 and non-compliant in 5.

We are committed as a hospital to protecting the safety and welfare of our patients and thus we have closely analysed HIQA’s report findings.  Immediately following the inspection, urgent actions were implemented to address key issues identified by HIQA.

Additionally, on foot of receiving HIQA’s detailed report, we have submitted to HIQA a comprehensive Quality Improvement plan with short term (3 months), medium term (6 months) and longer term (within 3 years) actions to address the findings from the inspection.

The hospital’s highly committed staff have already made significant progress on implementing this Quality Improvement Plan. Indeed, many of the short term actions to improve patient care have now already been completed.

HIQA acknowledged that a person-centred approach to care is promoted at UHK, and that Hospital Management and staff were aware of the need to promote the dignity, privacy, and autonomy of people receiving care in the hospital. Inspectors observed staff being kind and caring towards people using the service and found that in each area visited, staff were focused on ensuring patients’ needs were responded to promptly.

We are committed to working together to fully implement the hospital’s Quality Improvement Plan so that the hospital is fully aligned to the Standards for Safer Better Healthcare.”

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