HIQA is in “final discussions” with the Department of Health on a workforce plan that seeks “necessary additional resources”.
The new resources are required under the expansion of HIQA’s responsibilities under the Patient Safety (Notifiable Incidents and Open Disclosure) Act 2023. The legislation was enacted in May and is expected to commence sometime during the second quarter of next year.
Under the Act, HIQA will have an expanded monitoring role in regards the inspection of privately provided inpatient healthcare facilities. The Authority will also have a role in receiving notifications related to certain serious patient safety incidents across the public and private sector.
It is expected that the legislation “will substantially increase HIQA’s workload in the area of healthcare monitoring” leading to some workforce implications, the Authority said.
HIQA’s Director of healthcare Regulation, Mr Sean Egan told the Medical Independent: “We have submitted a workforce plan to the Department of Health to provide us with the necessary additional resources to undertake this role”.
“We are currently in final discussions with the Department of Health with respect to securing necessary funding for this uplift in resources.”
Mr Egan added that the “legislation aims to strengthen the approach to open disclosure to patients, so that they are fully informed when aspects of their care go wrong”.
“As part of HIQA’s approach to inspection under the Act, we will work to ensure that health service providers have put the necessary supports in place to fully promote implementation of open disclosure, including staff training and oversight of practice.”