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HSE risk register undergoes ‘fundamental review’

By David Lynch - 23rd Jun 2024

HSE risk register

The HSE corporate risk register (CRR) has undergone a “fundamental review”, this newspaper understands.

A newly designed CRR was approved by the HSE’s executive management team (EMT) in February, following the review.

The document, seen by the Medical Independent (MI), now contains 10 “open risks” and a further seven “watched risks”.

The 10 open risks include a reference to the new health regions, which are currently being rolled out on a phased basis. The CRR notes a risk that “implementation of the HSE’s health regions and centre reforms will be delayed and benefits not realised”.

Other “open risks” include a risk of “sustained increase” in the rate of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance across HSE healthcare settings.

The impact of a “sudden and exceptional level of demand for emergency care services” and that the “HSE’s financial allocation will be insufficient to deliver the activity levels set out in the National Service Plan”, are also included in the CRR.

The second list of “watched risks” include “the emergence of a new highly infectious disease”, the impact of climate change, and “critical permanent long-term workforce shortages”.

A HSE spokesperson told MI that identifying and managing risk “is a core part of good corporate governance and an essential component of effective management”.

“It is the policy of the HSE to anticipate and manage risk on an integrated basis, that is, including all risks, whether to do with management or service delivery processes. This involves proactively identifying risks that threaten the core objectives of the HSE.”

The new CRR was discussed at the February meeting of the HSE audit and risk committee. Committee members were told that a “fundamental review” of the HSE’s corporate risks and the CRR had been undertaken.

This review comprised a number of stages, with workshops, briefing sessions, and meetings held with EMT members, risk teams, subject matter experts including clinicians, and HSE board committees.

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