Proposed bill to ensure patient safety, dept says

Proposed bill to ensure patient safety, dept says

Simon Harris, the health minister, will today bring to Cabinet the Patient Safety Bill, which will ensure that healthcare staff must report incidents as part of mandatory disclosure.

The bill will provide that where a health services provider is satisfied that a notifiable patient safety incident has occurred, a disclosure must be made of all information known by the provider including the consequences, an apology if appropriate, and the actions that must be taken to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring again.

Under the proposals, the patient must be given a statement in writing of the details provided at a meeting, or within five days of that meeting taking place.

Patients can also refuse to attend the meeting, but they can change their mind within five years.

The Patient Safety Bill will require that notification of these serious incidents are made externally to the Health Information Quality Authority, the Chief Inspector of Social Services, and the Mental Health Commission.

The changes will apply to both the public and the private health services.

Failure to comply will mean the health service provider will be penalised, details of which will be outlined by the Department of Health today.

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