On 31 January 2018 the report of the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia Related Deaths (IHRD) was published. Mr Justice O’Hara concluded that the culture of the health service, the arrangements in place to ensure the quality of services and the behaviour of individuals at the time were not acceptable. This handbook is the first product to emerge from the IHRD report. The Duty of Quality workstream has been responsible for taking forward the key recommendations on leadership, clinical and social care governance and Board effectiveness and has developed this handbook as a resource to assists Boards to scrutinise the safety and quality of services. This handbook has been produced for, and by, Non-Executive Directors to prepare and support them in their important leadership role with a strong focus on quality improvement, learning from error and ensuring that service users and staff have a voice.

Further work will be completed to make the Handbook more interactive in the coming months. The Handbook will be updated regularly as required. As the HSC is subject to continual organisational change, the Department welcomes any factual updates in this regard from ALBs. These can be notified to: IHRD.Implementation@health-ni.gov.uk.

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