In recent years, there has been a ‘silent revolution’ in the regulation of many of our public services, for example, through HIQA and others. ‘There is now greater attention to the quality of services, and the standards underpinning them, thanks to increased oversight’ said Dr Rory O’Donnell today, Director of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).
The report notes that many citizens in Ireland seem to have lost trust in public services as a result of system failures in some services. The main conclusion of this report, however, is that there has been progress and reform in terms of the regulation of some services by making them more accountable for standards and outcomes. There is considerable value in drawing on this experience to develop quality services and repair trust.
Nevertheless, the report concludes that two further steps are necessary for continuous quality improvement: collaboration and continuous scrutiny. Firstly, individual organisations need to be supported to improve through collaboration with regulators, other providers and user groups; and secondly, there needs to be continuous scrutiny of the overall quality and cost of services within a given field to ensure they are aligned with people’s and society’s changing needs.
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