Implementation of recommendations from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths

NICVA has welcomed the update on work to implement the recommendations of the public inquiry report on Hyponatraemia-related deaths, published by the Department of Health.

The Department has established several workstreams, involving up to 200 people, to take forward key actions and impact upon the wider transforamtion process currently being pursued. 

NICVA will be working with the Department to Health to organise briefing sessions for the community and voluntary sector to be held in September, at which you can learn more about the Department’s programme to implement the recommendations of Hyponatraemia-related deaths inquiry, which will have wider implications for future health service delivery.  As highlighted in the Department’s press release below, organisations, as well as individuals can register to be kept informed about developments across the Department’s implementation programme by sending their email address to [email protected] 

The full press release is reproduced below.

Implementation of recommendations from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths

The Department of Health today provided an update on work to implement the recommendations of the public inquiry report on Hyponatraemia-related deaths.

The Department has established workstreams to take forward important action points. Key workstream groups in areas such as establishing a duty of candour and an independent medical examiner will be chaired by individuals from outside the health and social care system (HSC).

There are 120 actions relating to the 96 recommendations from the public inquiry report which are being taken forward under the auspices of a programme management group.

It includes representation from service users, carers, the voluntary and community sector, the Department and the wider HSC system. The individual recommendations will be taken forward by a number of workstreams and sub-groups whose memberships are made up of individuals from equally diverse backgrounds.

Quintin Oliver will chair a group which will co-produce proposals to implement recommendations on a duty of candour.

Paul Finnegan, the NI Director of CRUSE Bereavement Care, will lead the work on introducing an independent medical examiner.

Several other groups will be led by individuals from outside the Department and the HSC system. These individuals will also be members of the programme implementation group which will oversee the work of implementing all 96 recommendations.

Over the next few weeks, the Department will be running information sessions for everyone who is participating on a group under the programme.

The Department is also offering briefing sessions to CoPNI, NICCY, the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission, and the Equality Commission as well as to organisations which represent HSC staff or who regulate HSC staff.

The Department will also be organising a number of briefing sessions for community and voluntary sector groups to take place in September, by which time all of the workstreams and sub-groups will be up and running.

Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly commented: “The appointment of a number of workstreams and group Chairs from outside the health & social care sector is a strong signal of our commitment to co-produce proposals to implement recommendations of the Inquiry and to ensure public confidence in what we are doing. 

“A substantial amount of work has already been going on in the background over the last number of months. Our aim has been to ensure that we have the involvement of people from many diverse backgrounds in taking forward the implementation of these recommendations. We have also sought to put in place arrangements to support service users, carers and others from outside the HSC who will now be part of this programme.”

Membership of individual groups will also include individual service users, carers, Non-Executive representation from the Boards of several HSC bodies including Trusts, the PHA, HSCB and RQIA.

Mr Pengelly continued: “Individual service users and carers have a critical role to play as members of the groups taking forward the implementation of recommendations. It is also very important that members of the public in general take every opportunity to make their views known by engaging with the implementation programme.

“It is essential that there is strong buy-in, support and leadership from our HSC Trusts, the HSCB, PHA and other health & social care sector bodies. For this reason Non-Executive Directors will be represented on workstreams and sub-groups. In addition, the Department will be organising a health & social care sector-wide event for Non-Executive Directors from across the HSC to share learning from the implementation of the IHRD recommendations and as part of the assurance process.”

Mr Pengelly concluded: “The Department will be providing regular updates from individual workstreams on our website. Individual members of the public can also register their interest to be kept informed about developments across the implementation programme by sending their email address to [email protected]  They will then be able to receive updates from the programme including details of any published proposals and consultation and engagement events.”