Written Ministerial Statement
The content of this written ministerial statement is as received at the time from the Minister. It has not been subject to the official reporting (Hansard) process.
Date: Monday, 22 July 2013 at 12:00 PM
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Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety- Dental Hospital Inquiry Report
Published at 12.00 noon on 22 July 2013
Mr Poots (The Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety): I wish to make a statement to the Assembly to advise members of the full publication of the report of the statutory inquiry into the oral medicine service at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s dental hospital and the associated action plan, coordinated by my Department, to address the recommendations of that report.
On 28 June 2011, when I made my statement to the Assembly on the findings of the statutory inquiry into the oral medicine service at the Royal Victoria Hospital’s dental hospital and how these would be addressed, I placed the executive summary of the report, including all 45 recommendations, in the Assembly Library. I was unable at that time to provide the full report as it contained issues that were subject to regulatory processes that were not complete.
The Inquiry has now submitted a final version of its report to me and I am placing on my Department’s website to-day a copy of the full Dental Hospital Inquiry Report and the associated DHSSPS Action Plan to address the recommendations of the report. Most of the 42 action points in the plan have already either been completed in full or in part. Only a small number have yet to be fully implemented. It is envisaged that all the actions should be completed or on-going by September 2014.
I wish to extend my gratitude to Mr Brian Fee QC, and his team for the comprehensive report they provided to me. This highlights that there were serious deficiencies in the quality of care provided by the Oral Medicine Department of the Dental Hospital and Belfast HSC Trust to the patients recalled, which did impact adversely on the health of some. This should not have happened and I want to ensure that it never happens again.
I hope that implementation of the Action Plan will help address the concerns that this incident has raised and that it improves public confidence in the Belfast Dental Hospital that lessons have been learnt and services are now managed in such a way to ensure patient safety and the best possible quality of services.