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The National Care Experience Programme to develop new surveys

16 April 2019 Press release
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn and Director of the NPES, Rachel Flynn

The new National Care Experience Programme was launched in April 2019. A joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, the purpose of the programme is to develop and implement surveys of Ireland’s health and social care services.

The annual National Inpatient Experience Survey was launched in 2017 and has proven to be a great success. The survey is only two years’ old but already 26,000 patients have participated, making over 40,000 qualitative comments on the care they received in hospital. While there is still room for improvement, the results of the 2018 survey showed that there have been some positive developments in hospital care, particularly in terms of discharge and care on the ward.

The National Care Experience Programme has now been established to expand the survey to other areas of health and social care and capture the experiences of people who use these services. The National Maternity Survey will be rolled out in 2020, followed by two additional surveys by 2021.

Rachel Flynn, Programme Director of the National Care Experience Programme, said: “Listening to the experiences of people who use health and social care services is internationally accepted as a measure of the quality and safety of care. In Ireland, we are moving towards a more patient-centred model of care, long advocated for by HIQA. The aim of the National Care Experience Programme is to empower people to share their experiences and facilitate them to become actively involved in their care.”

“Patient experience surveys are a useful way of finding areas that need improvement in the delivery of healthcare and provide hospital managers with detailed information on how to fix these problems. It is by listening and learning from the experiences of patients that we can bring about effective and sustainable changes across the Irish health and social care systems.”

The National Care Experience Programme Strategic Plan 2019–2021 sets out the ambitious objectives and key priorities for the programme over the next three years. Annual reports will be published outlining the impact of the programme across the relevant health and social care sectors.

Read the strategy here

For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
(01) 8147480 / 086 2447623

Notes to the editor

  • The National Inpatient Experience Survey will take place in May for a third successive year. All patients over 16 years-of-age or older who are discharged from a public acute hospital during in May, having spent at least 24 hours in hospital, will be eligible to participate in the survey. The findings of the 2017 and 2018 surveys can be found under the Inpatient section.
  • The National Maternity Experience Survey — Ireland’s first every national survey of maternity services — will commence in early 2020. This survey will capture the experiences of new mothers from prenatal and antenatal care through to postnatal care. Women who are aged 16 or older who give birth during the survey period will be invited to participate in the survey approximately three months after the birth of their baby.