HIQA announces Tallaght investigation team

Tuesday 26 July 2011 17.18
Tallaght Hospital - Concern about patient safety in emergency department
Tallaght Hospital - Concern about patient safety in emergency department

The Health Information and Quality Authority has announced the investigation team which will examine the quality, safety and governance of care provided at Tallaght Hospital's emergency department in Dublin.

The ten-member investigation team includes medical experts from Ireland and Britain and a representative of the campaign group, Patient Focus.

It will be supported by a five-member expert advisory panel from the Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Physicians and the Irish College of GPs, as well as a nursing expert.

Under the terms of the inquiry, the team will interview staff, patients and family members and will also inspect the hospital.

It will also examine corporate governance by the hospital board.

The report of the investigation will be published.

The inquiry was announced last month after HIQA expressed concerns about the risks to patients requiring acute admission at the hospital.

Data Commissioner probing 'breach'

The Data Protection Commissioner says he has received a written report from Dublin's Tallaght Hospital on a potential personal data security breach.

The Commissioner said that the matter is now being investigated.

Tallaght Hospital said it took the precautionary measure last Friday evening of notifying the Commissioner's office of 'unsubstantiated allegations' regarding unauthorised disclosure of personal data.

The hospital said it had no evidence any patient information has been subject of unauthorised access, or disclosure.

Local Labour party TD Robert Dowds has called on Tallaght to clarify the situation surrounding the security of patient data being sent to the Philippines for transcription.

In a recent letter to the TD, Tallaght Hospital said it had a limited number of medical typists and has outsourced some dictation since 2004.

The process involves a hospital clinician dialling codes on a phone and dictating.

An audio file is created on a server in the hospital.

This file is encrypted and sent to an outside firm, typed up and sent back to Tallaght the next day.

The hospital said the service involves a company with international facilities and it allows consultant correspondence to be processed in a timely manner.

In its letter, the hospital said it was not in a position to recruit more medical typists, due to the staff recruitment embargo.

Meanwhile, the HSE said today that none of its hospitals outsource the transcription of medical reports, or letters for GPs.

It said that Waterford Regional outsources a small number of administrative tasks only.