HSE needs mandatory disclosure policy


Sir, – The report of the HSE’s continuing failure to investigate failings in a timely manner cannot come as any surprise (Editorial, August 14th).

The reality is that a culture of denial and cover-ups is endemic within the HSE. Our politicians had a chance to change this by introducing a mandatory disclosure policy. Unfortunately following extensive lobbying by vested interest groups they performed a U-turn on this and we still have the clearly utterly useless voluntary open disclosure policy.

It has been clear for some time now that only a statutory duty of candour placing a legal obligation to disclose will be effective in altering culture within the HSE. Certainly where failings are deliberately concealed from patients there must be serious consequences, including, in certain cases, criminal charges. It is long past time politicians stopped talking and commissioning reviews and started enacting legislation.

Patients deserve better. When failings occur, putting procedures in place immediately to prevent reoccurence should be the priority. It is impossible to learn from mistakes if you continue to pretend they never occurred. – Yours, etc,


Sandyford, Dublin 18.