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HIQA and DoH in discussions on an ‘oversight agreement’

The recently-updated Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies has more detailed requirements for both State bodies and Departments, including a new requirement that an oversight agreement be in place.

This is a written statement between the Minister/Department and the body under its aegis that clearly defines the terms of the Department’s relationship with that body.

According to HIQA’s board minutes for November, seen by MI, there were some final points to be clarified prior to the agreement being finalised.

“We were in discussions with the Department of Health in this regard and at the moment, we’re working with them to ensure that any final agreement is in line with, and consistent with, the recent Code of Practice for the Governance for State Bodies,” a HIQA spokesperson told MI.

An update on the National Patient Experience Project was also provided during HIQA’s board meeting in November.

The project, which will be conducted with the HSE and the Department over a number of months, will involve hospital patients from around the country being questioned, anonymously, on their experience of the health service.

According to the minutes, tender submissions had been reviewed and subject to final clarifications, were due to finalised.

“The project will deliver the first national survey of its kind and will replace many ad-hoc surveys carried out by different organisations and therefore will deliver consistency and better value for money,” stated HIQA’s minutes, which also stressed that the project had been benchmarked against international practice.

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