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Department initiating research on clinical complaints policy

By Catherine Reilly - 09th Jul 2023

clinical complaints policy

The Department of Health is commissioning independent research into the future of clinical complaints policy and legislation.

According to the Department, it is working on a “direct award with a suitable candidate”. No applications were received after a request for tender process. “It is hoped this process will be finalised shortly and the research project can commence. The cost of the contract, as specified in the tender, will be €65,000 plus VAT,” a spokesperson told the Medical Independent.

The provider will support the Department’s National Patient Safety Office in researching multi-stakeholder perception and expectations about healthcare complaints management. This included clinical complaints relating to patient care, treatment, and diagnosis.

According to the tender information, the development of a new national patient complaints and patient safety incidents policy framework, covering the public and private health services, was a key patient safety priority. “This includes the commitment made in the Programme for Government to expand the remit of the Office of the Ombudsman to consider clinical judgement in health and social care complaints, defined as complaints regarding care, treatment, and diagnosis.”

The research project will help enable the Department to produce recommendations for the Minister for Health on the development of clinical complaints policy and legislation and legislating for clinical judgement complaints to come under the remit of the Ombudsman.

“Significant work” has been advanced in regard to developing clinical complaints policy, according to
the Department.

“As well as the aforementioned research work, the Department in conjunction with the Office of the
Ombudsman has progressed a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process which will continue into next year.”

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