221+ were pleased to see the Patient Safety (Notifiable Patient Safety Incidents) Bill 2019 passed with cross-party support in the Dáil on Wednesday evening.
In celebrating this win for patient advocacy and safety, first and foremost we extend the most heartfelt thanks to Vicky Phelan, Lorraine Walsh, Stephen Teap, Lyn Fenton, Rosie Condra and all patient representatives who have worked towards this achievement. This would not have happened without their hard work and commitment over the years. The Bill covers many aspects of open disclosure of notifiable incidents to ensure all patients and their families are supported by legislation when something goes wrong. This legislation clearly illustrates the positive impact of having a patient voice in the room.
In the run up to the vote, 221+ worked with the Minister for Health’s team as well as numerous supportive TDs (particularly Alan Kelly, Róisín Shortall and David Cullinane) on an amendment that ensures a cervical cancer patient’s right to have their slides and history reviewed is notified to them in an appropriate and timely way. This will impact other screening programmes and is a huge step towards full open disclosure across the board. There is also a review process of the legislation itself scheduled in two years’ time, ensuring proper oversight of the effectiveness and implementation of the legislation as recommended by Dr. Scally. 221+ thank the Minister and TDs, who clearly understood the importance of this legislation passing the ‘Vicky test’ in order to act as an effective safeguard in years to come.
221+ will continue to work on the policies and processes associated with this Bill when it reaches that stage.
Interviews with 221+ Patient Representatives:
Lorraine Walsh and Alan Kelly on RTÉ Morning Ireland: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22213635/
Stephen Teap in Irish Examiner: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-41072795.html
Stephen Teap on RTÉ Today with Claire Byrne: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22213797/
Dr Gabriel Scally on RTÉ Today with Claire Byrne: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22214394/