Inquiry Into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths – Department Publishes Progress Report On Recommendations

20th December 2018

Inquiry Into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths – Department Publishes Progress Report On Recommendations

The Department of Health today published a detailed update report on progress with the implementation of recommendations from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths (IHRD).

The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, commented: “I appreciate that there is a desire to see progress with implementing the recommendations – a desire I share. The report published today seeks to demonstrate what we have been doing to progress implementation.

“The recommendations of the Hyponatraemia Inquiry potentially impact on every service provided by our health and social care system and on every service user, carer and their families as well as on every member of staff employed to provide health and social care services.”

Further updates will be published on a quarterly basis.

Dr Paddy Woods, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, is Programme Director for the work and is reporting directly on it to the Permanent Secretary.

Dr Woods is supported by a Programme Management Group and a number of workstreams which include membership drawn from inside and outside of the health and social care sector, including service users and carers, representatives from the voluntary and community sector and non-executives from health and social care bodies.

Mr Pengelly added: “Fundamentally, the issues raised in the Hyponatraemia Inquiry are being addressed through a system-wide approach co-produced by people who provide and those who receive health and social care services, their families and carers. If we are going to successfully deliver both system and cultural change through this programme then we need to involve all of these groups of people.

“We have taken time to involve a wide range of people from different backgrounds and to equip them with the information and knowledge which will enable them to participate on as equal a footing as is possible in taking this work forward.”

There are a number of recommendations which will require Ministerial and Executive approval to proceed with, including those which require legislation.

Mr Pengelly continued: “Despite the political situation, work is proceeding against all of the recommendations.

“The appalling care failings at Muckamore Abbey Hospital have again highlighted the importance of candour in health and social services. The workstream chaired by Quintin Oliver is charged with producing details on what a statutory duty of candour should look like.

“Over the next 12-18 months, there will be substantial progress against almost all of the recommendations. The vast majority which do not require Ministerial or Executive approval will be implementable in that timeframe.

“I hope that as we move forward the general public at large will be able to see for themselves the benefit of taking time to establish these workstreams on a sound footing. This work is about restoring public confidence and trust in the health and social care system and we need to get this right.”