103-659 / Stakeholder engagement in the development of the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare.

GOP Information
Organisation sharing the GOP
Related practices from PaSQ database
Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority)


Patient involvement

GOP Description
Implementation level
Clinical settings
The National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare have been designed so that they can be implemented in all healthcare services, settings and locations in Ireland.
To engage with all relevant stakeholders in Ireland and internationally while developing the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare to ensure that they are fit for purpose and describe areas of importance for quality and safety for service users which are amenable to improvement through standards.
All stakeholders with an interest in the development of national healthcare standards including the Department of Health, service providers, service users, the public, regulators in Ireland and other countries among others.
A consultative approach is at the heart of the Health Information and Quality Authority’s values of fairness and objectivity, openness and accountability, excellence and innovation, and working together. In line with these principles, the Authority convened an Advisory Group to advise it on the development of the National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare, to support consultation and information exchange and advise on further steps. This group was made up of a diverse range of stakeholders, including service user representatives, healthcare professionals and service providers. To inform the development of the National Standards, the Authority conducted a national representative poll in Summer 2010 asking members of the public for their opinion on the important areas of quality and safety in healthcare. The Authority also consulted with other national and international regulatory organisations and hosted and attended a series of meetings with a range of interested parties to present the concepts and background to the National Standards. To facilitate stakeholder engagement and participation in the development of the National Standards, the Authority published a draft version of the National Standards (the Draft Standards) in September 2010 for public consultation. The public consultation ran for six weeks until November 2010.
Timeframe implementation
Consultation process – 21 months
A total of fourteen Standards Advisory Group Meetings took place between June 2009 and March 2011.
A national representative poll took place in July 2010.
A national public consultation on the National Standards took place over 6 weeks from September – November 2010.
Implementation tools available
For ease of use and to facilitate the widest participation from all possible stakeholders in the consultation process the Draft Standards were produced in a variety of accessible formats including:
•    Full text A4 version
•    Easy to read A5 guide
•    Audio versions (iTune, MP3 and CD-ROM formats)
A consultation feedback form was developed in order to assist people to make a written submission. All documents were publicly available in downloadable formats on the Authority’s website. Respondents could also provide general feedback via email, post or telephone. General comments were also invited through the Authority’s Facebook and Twitter webpages.
Implementation cost
Around €42,000
Costs included:
•    Production of the Draft Standards in various formats (including A4 and A5 hard copies and audio versions)
•    Additional print run of A5 version was required in response to demand
•    Public opinion poll conducted by market research company on behalf of the Authority
Method used to measure the results
A consultation feedback form was developed in order to assist people to make a written submission on the Draft Standards. This was publicly available in downloadable format on the Authority’s website. A paper copy was also available on request. This form contained specific feedback questions relating to:
•    Language, layout and design of the standards
•    Themes in the Draft Standards
•    Suitability of standards to be used as the basis for licensing of the healthcare system
•    Applicability of the draft standards to all healthcare settings
•    Guidance development
•    Role of standards in ensuring evidence based clinical practice.
A total of 216 submissions were received as part of the consultation process. Of the 216 respondents, 172 (80%) completed feedback forms while the remaining 44 (20%) made written submissions without using the form. The majority of respondents (79%) submitted their responses by email, 12% by online survey and 9% by post. Of the 216 submissions, 162 were made by organisations while 54 were from individuals. These individual submissions were made by service users, the general public and individual healthcare professionals.
Analysis of the results
The majority of submissions welcomed the Draft Standards and provided positive, supportive feedback. Respondents said that the language, layout and design of the Draft Standards was clear and easy to follow. The majority of respondents said that the Draft Standards covered all the important quality and safety topics and that they were a good basis for licensing. Respondents thought that the Draft Standards could be applied to all the healthcare settings mentioned but that more specific guidance and detail would be needed for the different services to which they apply. Respondents agreed that the Draft Standards would support evidence-based practice.
Implementation barriers
Did you find implementation barriers?
Please describe implementation barriers
There is no specified text here
Describe the strategies used to overcome the barriers (If needed)
There is no specified text here
Other information
Other information about the GOP that you would like to add (Link or attached document)
The level of engagement and interest of service users, the general public, service providers and other stakeholders in the public consultation on the Draft Standards was very encouraging and was very important in informing the finalisation of the National Standards. The Authority undertook a thematic analysis of all submissions received to determine the main feedback from the public consultation. A summary and analysis of these submissions was published as a Statement of Outcomes on the Authority’s website www.hiqa.ie The feedback received was used to inform the finalisation of the National Standards. The National Standards were submitted to the Minister for Health for approval in May 2011 and were launched in June 2012. As a result of feedback from the public consultation process, general guidance to complement the National Standards was also developed and published in September 2012. The purpose of the guidance is to facilitate service providers in understanding and adopting the National Standards in the Irish healthcare system and to provide a common understanding and language for service users, service providers and the public as to how the National Standards will apply across all healthcare services.