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National Independent Review Panel

Our purpose is to promote learning and best practice by reviewing serious cases in a professional and timely manner. This helps the health and social care sector to improve its services and prevent similar situations occurring in the future

Although the NIRP is part of the HSE it is independent of all HSE operations at both national and community level.

What we do

We work to complete reviews when we are commissioned by the HSE’s National Clinical Director, Quality Patient Safety Directorate and a level of independence is required. This is usually ‘Category 1 incidents’, where a very high level of independence is required.

Here are some examples of the work we do:

  • Conduct independent reviews across community health and social care where there are major concerns about how the services involved managed the care of an individual or group of individuals.
  • Review cases where it is suspected that there are serious failings that have led to significant harm or have compromised quality of life.
  • Determine what the relevant services and individuals involved in the case might have done differently.
  • Produce an annual report and aggregate analysis of the cases investigated to ensure that learning can be shared nationally.
  • Report on the findings, conclusions and key recommendations on each review to the Chairperson of the HSE’s Safety and Quality Committee.


NIRP Operational Guidelines 2021 (PDF, 67 pages, 1.6MB)

NIRP Annual Report 2017-18 (PDF, 12 pages, 0.7MB)


Ms Joanne Haffey, National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate