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Information and Resources on Staff Support

Resources to support staff following Patient Safety Incidents

Open disclosure is a core professional requirement anchored in professional ethics. We must communicate effectively with our patients in a compassionate, empathic and thoughtful manner at all times especially following patient safety incidents.

This is a crucial part of the therapeutic relationship with patients. If done well it can mitigate anxiety and enhance the patient’s trust in our staff, our organisation, and our health care system.

When things go wrong during the delivery of care to patients it affects staff also.

It is important that all staff involved in, or affected by patient safety incidents can access immediate and on-going practical and emotional support.

If you experience a patient safety incident and need help please talk to your line manager. Your manager will talk with you and give you any information you may need.

Patient Safety Incidents

Patient safety incidents include events that:

  • cause harm
  • cause no harm
  • are near misses

Open Disclosure Meetings

Following a patient safety incident it is important to meet with the patient within 24 hours or as soon as possible after the incident to:

  • acknowledge what has happened
  • say you are sorry
  • provide the facts available, and
  • provide reassurance about on-going care and treatment

Open disclosure may involve meeting with the patient on one or many occasions depending on the level of harm that occurred.


An updated open disclosure training programme is available to all health and social care services.

To access training please contact the Open Disclosure Lead for your area. There are Open Disclosure Leads in all hospital groups, community healthcare organisations, the national ambulance service, screening services and voluntary agencies.

Find the Open Disclosure Lead for your area

If you would like to become a trainer please also speak to the Open Disclosure Lead for your area.

Employee resources

There are many resources available to help you to implement the HSE Open Disclosure Policy.

To find the resources you need please click on the relevant link below.

If you have a query relating to open disclosure please email the National Open Disclosure Office at opendisclosure.office@hse.ie

Useful links