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Public patients treated in private hospitals under joint arthroplasty programme should be monitored – NOCA

The National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) has recommended that all public patients treated under the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) joint arthroplasty programme are monitored as part of the Irish National Orthopaedic Register (INOR). The INOR is a patient safety initiative, which aims to improve the quality of services and care provided to patients having joint replacement surgery through the analysis of clinical and patient reported outcomes and to monitor the safety of implants.

It is one of 13 national audits managed or governed by NOCA. The HSE’s safety and quality committee was briefed on the register on 16 March by Joint INOR National Clinical Lead Mr Paddy Kenny and INOR Manager Ms Suzanne Rowley.
The committee discussed the importance of developing a “comprehensive, nationwide orthopaedic register” considering that all private hospitals were not part of INOR.

“It supported NOCA’s view that it would be appropriate that all public patients treated under the NTPF joint arthroplasty programme are monitored as part of INOR, thereby offered the same degree of quality assurance in private hospitals, as if treated within the public sector,” according to minutes of the meeting. Currently eight of 12 ‘elective’ public hospitals and one private hospital are on the register. Phase 2 will include roll-out to hospitals that perform emergency as well as elective surgery.

“It was agreed that NOCA would provide the first national report from INOR to the committee when published later this year and that the [National Director of Quality and Patient Safety] work with NOCA and INOR to improve reporting on private hospital activity.”

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