Donaldson Report


Donaldson Review - Examines the Governance Arrangments for ensuring quality of health and social care provisions in Northern Ireland.  Read more on

Health Minister Jim Wells has published Sir Liam Donaldson’s report which examines the governance arrangements for ensuring the quality of health and social care provision in Northern Ireland.

Speaking in the Assembly today the Minister said: “This report states that our health system “is likely to be no more or less safe than any other part of the United Kingdom, or indeed any comparable country globally”. Although Sir Liam also acknowledges that we can do better, that statement should be of some comfort and reassurance to those in our community who rely on our health service.”

The report makes ten recommendations, some focusing on specialist areas of quality and safety improvement, such as maximising learning from incident reporting, while other recommendations are broader and focus on our health system.

The Minister said: “The report is far reaching in its implications and I agree with the main conclusions Sir Liam has made, however I will need to take more time, as should others, to consider the specifics of some of the associated recommendations. Despite this, there are a number of recommendations which can and should be progressed, and I am determined that this should happen as quickly as possible where they point us towards opportunities for improving the quality and safety of our services.”

The Minister went on to outline how a number of the recommendations will be implemented. He said: “I have already asked my Permanent Secretary to look at the administrative structures within the health and social care system and those supporting it. The purpose of this is to ensure that the structures in place to support the delivery of health and social care are working, both individually and collectively, as efficiently and effectively as possible. This work will feed into future planning cycles, including 2015/16.
"Both I and my predecessor have highlighted issues in relation to commissioning and this is reflected in Sir Liam’s report. My officials have been asked to undertake a review of the existing commissioning arrangements to ensure they are effective.”

The Minister announced that a statutory duty of candour will be introduced in Northern Ireland. He said: “There should be no ambiguity in respect of my expectation regarding the crucial elements of patient safety which are openness and transparency. I recognise that, despite the best efforts of doctors, nurses, social workers, other staff and managers, mistakes can and do happen. Patients, service users and the public have a right to expect that when they do, they will be communicated with in an honest and respectful manner and that every effort will be made to correct errors or omissions, and to learn from them to prevent a reoccurrence.

"I have therefore asked my officials to begin the process to create a statutory duty of candour in Northern Ireland so that, supported by professional codes of conduct which already exist we might bring about the strongest possible form of openness and transparency in Northern Ireland.”

Read the following important relevant documents to find out more ....

Relevant Documents: