Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths – Progress Report

Date published: 21 March 2019

The Department of Health today published an update on the ongoing work to implement the recommendations of the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related deaths (IHRD).

Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths latest news image

The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, said: “As work continues on each of the workstreams set up to deliver the recommendations, there is a consistent theme apparent - the need for transparency and to be open and honest around how we do things. 

“This does not just apply to the legislation needed for a Duty of Candour, it links to the other recommendations as well. What is at stake goes beyond dealing with the specific issues raised by the report. It involves changing the entire culture of the health and social care system from top to bottom. What needs to emerge is a service which exhibits transparency and openness at all times and is determined to learn from mistakes.”

Dr Paddy Woods, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Programme Director for the work, said: “Recommendations being taken forward by several of our workstreams will individually and collectively promote and support greater transparency and openness in how we currently do things, particularly in how we respond when things go wrong.

“The commitment to candour affects not just what we do to put things right, but how we go about doing it. This is why more than 200 people from a wide range of backgrounds are working together to respond to the report. It is why we want to broaden our deliberations to include all organisations and individuals who have an interest.”

In conclusion, Mr Pengelly said: “I am committed to sharing as much information as possible including the recently published research in relation to Duty of Candour. Amongst other things, this work looks at how other health systems have addressed the issue of openness.

“This will help us understand not just what they did but some of the problems faced and how they dealt with them. I hope that we can learn from their experiences so that we can create a fully open and transparent system that the public will have complete confidence in.” 

The research may be found on the department's website

Notes to editors: 

1. The Hyponatraemia Implementation Programme is comprised of nine workstreams and 200 people from different backgrounds working through the recommendations arising from the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths (IHRD).

2. Further information on the Hyponatraemia Implementation Programme can be found on the Departments website https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/hyponatraemia-implementation-programme

3. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office team on 028 9052 0579 or email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned. 

4. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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