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File photo of Health Service Executive sign Eamonn Farrell
latest report

'Significant progress' made on patient outcomes, but cervical screening uptake still below target

A new report by the HSE shows improvements in outcomes for some patients in the last ten years.

OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE who are admitted to hospital with a heart attack or a stroke have improved significantly over the last decade.

Meanwhile, uptake of cervical cancer screenings is still below target.

That is according to a new report published by the Health Service Executive (HSE), which has provided an overview of the service’s quality between 2013 and 2022.

Since 2013, there has been a 23% decrease in in-hospital deaths within 30 days of admission for heart attacks and a 38% decrease within 30 days of admission from ischaemic stroke.

Uptake of cervical screenings, which helps detect cervical cancer, has climbed from 65% in 2011 to 73%, but still remains below the 80% target.

On flu vaccines, Ireland ranked second highest among 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for uptake among older people in the 2021/2022 flu season.

The report also shows that, in 2022, 89% of hip fracture surgeries for people aged 65 years and older were performed within two days of admission, which is 9% higher than in 2013.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said there’s been “significant progress” in the overall quality of the healthcare system, judging by these findings.

“Looking to how we fare internationally, Ireland compares favourably across a number of areas, in particular uptake for flu vaccination among people aged 65 years and older and uptake for breast and cervical cancer screening,” he said.

Some 82% of patients who spent at least one night in hospital in May 2022 indicated they had a positive overall experience.

In maternity care, only half of women reported that they were always involved in decisions about their labour and birth experience between 2019 and 2021.

Some 60% of mothers felt they were involved in the decisions about their care after their baby’s birth, while around one quarter of women surveyed said they were sometimes involved.

“I particularly welcome the inclusion of an expanded suite of reported patient experience measures in this year’s report, providing insights into people’s experience of care in hospitals, nursing homes and maternity bereavement services,” Donnelly said.

“By listening to the voices of people using our health and social care services we can identify areas for improvement focused on what matters to them.”

This is the eighth and final report in the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System series.

It is meant to act as a “stimulus for quality improvement” within the HSE.

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