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Developing future clinical leaders in patient safety: the Irish experience
  1. Kieran Murray1,
  2. Eoin Fitzgerald2,
  3. Ahmeda Ali3,
  4. David Crosby4,
  5. Susanne O'Reilly5,
  6. Peter Lachman6,7
  1. 1 Rheumatologist, University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland
  2. 2 Paediatrics, Children’s Health Ireland, Dublin 12, Ireland
  3. 3 General Practitioner, Irish College of General Practitioners, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4 Obstetrician, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5 Gastroenterology, St Vincent's Healthcare Group Ltd, Dublin 4, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6 Lead Faculty Quality Improvement Programme, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  7. 7 International Society for Quality in Health Care, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kieran Murray, University Hospital Limerick, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland; kemurray{at}


Introduction It is 20 years since the Institute of Medicine advocated a national approach to improve care and patient safety. Patient safety infrastructure has greatly improved in certain countries. In Ireland, patient safety infrastructure is in ongoing development. To contribute to this, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland/International Society for Quality in Healthcare Scholar in Residence Programme was launched in 2016. This programme aims to improve patient safety and develop a movement of future clinician leaders to drive improvements in patient safety and the quality of care.

Methods Doctors in postgraduate training complete a year-long immersive mentorship. This involves monthly group meetings with key patient safety opinion makers, one-on-one mentorship, leadership courses, conference attendance and presentations. Each scholar undertakes a quality improvement (QI) project.

Results A QI project was associated with a decrease in caesarean section rates from 13.7% to 7.6% (p=0.0002) among women in spontaneous labour at term with a cephalic presentation. Other projects are ongoing.

Conclusion Medical error, patient safety and QI must be addressed comprehensively at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. We believe the Irish mentorship programme will help to change the paradigm and improve patient safety.

  • improvement
  • trainees
  • patient safety
  • mentoring

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  • Contributors KM was involved in initial drafting of the manuscript. PL conceptually designed the study. EF, AA, DC, SO'R and PL were involved in drafting of the manuscript. All authors approve of the manuscript. KM had final responsibility for the decision to submit the manuscript for publication and is the guarantor of overall content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.