Poll shows desire for clear healthcare information

The results of a new opinion poll published today show that over 95% of people want clear information about their healthcare around treatment options, costs and care planning.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) carried out the poll ahead of starting its consultation on the Draft National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare which are due to be published in the coming weeks.

Following the consultation process and when the Standards are completed and approved by Government, they will apply across all health sectors and will be highly significant in driving quality and safety for people using our health services.

Jon Billings, Director of Healthcare Quality and Safety with the Authority, said: “It’s vital to hear directly from the public and those who use services on what matters most to them in terms of quality and safety.

"This opinion poll will inform the development of the Standards as part of the wider public consultation. The results are very clear – people want information, clear accountability and quality in services and want to be supported in taking an active part in their own healthcare.”

According to the poll, 99% of people said that they wanted to be informed if something went wrong in treatment and that providers should take steps to prevent mistakes and ensure learning takes place across the system to improve healthcare quality.

Despite the fact that the majority of people (95%) felt it important that senior staff take responsibility for the quality and safety of services, the majority (86%) said they did not feel this was currently the case.

“People clearly expressed the need for more openness in service provision," Mr Billings said.

"Some people reported experiencing challenges in making complaints and felt that further support and information in this area is needed."

There’s also a strong message from the public on the management of complaints within the system,

Some 86% of respondents said that a culture of openness is essential, along with polite approachable staff and clarity on the complaints process.

The poll also found that almost 90% of people want to see eco-friendly issues taken into account by healthcare providers.

Finally, when asked about how taxpayer’s money is spent on healthcare, 25% believe it is wisely spent in healthcare in Ireland.

A copy of the findings is available on the Authority’s website at www.hiqa.ie.

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