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Delays remain in implementing internal audit recommendations

The number of recommendations not fully implemented as at 30 September 2016 within the division was reduced from 199.5 to 56.5, a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).  

A delay in implementing internal audit report recommendations across a number of HSE divisions is occurring, with recommendations taking years to be instigated in many cases.

In January 2016, several HSE divisions had yet to implement all 2014 internal audit recommendations, according to data released via Freedom of Information.

At this time, records showed that HSE National Directors were asked to provide a status report on 242 recommendations arising from 23 internal audit reports.

HSE National Director of Acute Hospitals Mr Liam Woods provided an update at a meeting of the HSE National Performance Oversight Group (NPOG).

An action log from the meeting showed that a written update provided at a meeting in November 2015 outlined that 135 audit reports were provided, with 1,431 recommendations.

Some 75 per cent had been implemented, with the remainder either in progress, not yet started, or not yet due for implementation.

Within the Primary Care Division, the log showed that recommendations from internal audit reports pre-2015 had yet to be implemented.

The National Ambulance Service (NAS) also had yet to fully implement recommendations from 2014 and 2015.

According to the HSE, with effect from 2016, the implementation of internal audit recommendations is a key performance indicator for each division and forms part of the HSE’s accountability framework.

“Internal audit reports set out a time frame for the implementation of recommendations. In some cases, the implementation of some internal audit recommendations, because of their particular nature, can be dependent on a number of factors, which can result in delays in fully implementing all recommendations,” a spokesperson said.

“Acute Hospitals Division continues to focus on addressing these remaining outstanding recommendations.”

All outstanding recommendations relating to the NAS were cleared at the end of September, the spokesperson added. 

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