UL Hospitals Group Committed To Medication Safety

Unisveristy Hospital Limerick
Photo © Pat Flynn

The UL Hospitals Group says it’s committed to enhancing medication safety for patients.

It comes as a HIQA report, which has just been published, has highlighted a number concerns over issues at the region’s main hospital, which it said resulted in “potential risks to patients”.


HIQA inspectors visited University Hospital Limerick on May 18th, following which it raised a number of concerns over medication safety.

In response to a query from Clare FM, the UL Hospitals Group has acknowledged the need for a Medication Safety Co-ordinator and says a recruitment process someone to the position is at an advanced stage.

Once appointed, they’ll develop a Medication Safety Strategy which will be implemented across the five hospitals in the group, including Ennis General.

Membership of the Drug and Therapeuticfs Committee, which has a detailed plan to address the risks identified within the HIQA report, will be expanded.

HIQA has been complimentary about improvements already introduced by UHL, as well as education initiatives for patients and staff.

In a statement, the Chief Clinical Director, Professor Paul Burke says they are “committed to ensuring the highest standard of care” for all patients.

And that the appointment of a dedicated Medication Safety Officer will enable the UL Hospitals Group “to adopt a more focused approach to medications safety across all hospital sites”

Statement From The UL Hospitals Group:

UL Hospitals Group welcomes the HIQA report on medication safety at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) following an inspection carried out on 18th May 2017.

Medication safety is a priority for UL Hospitals Group and we are committed to enhancing medication safety for all service users. In this context the absence of a Medication Safety co-ordinator is acknowledged and a recruitment process is at an advanced stage to appoint a person to this position. This appointment will enable the development of a medication safety strategy and a medication safety plan both of which will enhance the further advancement of a medication safety culture across the group in collaboration with the relevant clinical professional groupings.

Membership of the Drug and Therapeutics Committee will be expanded as recommended by HIQA to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of medication safety. The Drug and Therapeutics Committee has a detailed quality improvement plan to address the risks identified in the HIQA report, including plans to enhance governance of medication safety allowing oversight of reported risks and errors, and improved cohesiveness with regard to procedures, policies and guidelines.

HIQA was complimentary of a range of existing quality improvement initiatives already implemented at UHL. HIQA also commented positively on UHL’s arrangements to educate and counsel patients about their medicines, and to train and educate medical and nursing staff. UL Graduate Entry medical School senior educators are committed to producing medical graduates with strong awareness of medication safety culture and medication related risks.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Prof Paul Burke, Chief Clinical Director, UL Hospitals Group said “We welcome the HIQA report on Medication Safety at University Hospital Limerick. We are committed to ensuring the highest standard of care for all our patients and acknowledge the requirement for a dedicated Medication Safety Officer for the UL Hospitals Group. This will enable us to adopt a more focused approach to medication safety across all our hospital sites and we remain committed to progress this strategy over the coming months”

You can read the HIQA report in full here