April 20 @ 06:00am

Celebrating 10 years of NOCA at the NOCA Annual Conference

The virtual NOCA Annual Conference took place on Wednesday 20th April 2022, in association with RCSI Charter Week. The event focused on the theme - 'Data Driving Quality' and saw over 500 delegates tune in to view the event.

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Celebrating 10 years of NOCA at the NOCA Annual Conference Image

The NOCA Annual Conference 2022 was opened by Dr Brian Creedon, Clinical Director of NOCA and he welcomed and thanked all attendees. This year, we are celebrating 10 years of NOCA and Dr Creedon spoke of the achievements over the years.

He noted that NOCA was established in 2012, funded by the HSE and operationally supported by RCSI. He spoke of those who were instrumental in NOCA’s formation, with the vision to use quality data to drive improvement in patient care.

From small beginnings, NOCA has now grown to become the largest provider of national clinical audit in Ireland, striving to provide quality data to improve patient care across a number of healthcare areas in the Irish system. We have published 27 National Reports, with accompanying Summary Reports, two Audit Feasibility Study Reports, with a third due for publication in May 2022, and six interim COVID-19 rapid learning reports.

Dr Creedon paid tribute to our large and engaged group of Public & Patient Interest Representatives, who are integral to helping shape the audits and communicate their messages to the wider public.

​Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE, acknowledged that NOCA has been a huge driver of change in the Irish healthcare system. He noted that a critical component in successful clinical audit is strong clinical leadership and he paid tribute to all NOCA Clinical Leads, who have played a vital role in enhancing the quality and transformation of clinical services. Dr Henry noted the recent establishment of the HSE National Centre for Clinical Audit, who will play a pivotal role in helping to implement recommendations arising from national clinical audits, as well as providing education and training resources.

Dr Ronan Margey, Clinical Lead for the Irish Heart Attack Audit, officially launched the Irish Heart Attack Audit National Report 2017-2020. The audit looks at patients who suffer a major heart attack, known as an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). A key message from the report focuses on the importance of calling 999/112 as soon as someone experiences any symptoms of a heart attack. This ensures that they receive a timely pre-hospital ECG diagnosis of STEMI by ambulance personnel and are then directly transferred to an appropriate PCI centre. Further details on the report can be found here.

Michael Madigan, a patient representative, who suffered a heart attack five years ago at the age of 48, shared his experience with the audience.

My decision to call 999 immediately when I was having a heart attack and the decision of the Paramedics to transfer me from my home in Cavan by Air Ambulance to the Mater Hospital saved my life. They were able to identify that I was experiencing a STEMI and directed me to the closest PCI centre at the earliest possible opportunity. I owe my life to those Paramedics and the PCI team.

Michael Madigan, Patient Representative

​The three shortlisted projects for the NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022 presented their initiatives:

  • Shiji Paulose, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stroke from University Hospital Limerick presented the Stroke HIPE data reconciliation project

  • Siobhán Corcoran Orthopaedic Business Manager from University Hospital Waterford presented the UHW Fast-Track Knee pathway

  • Gráinne Sheehan, Tissue Viability Nurse from the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital presented the High HEEL initiative

Dr Sally Lewis, Director of the Welsh Value in Health Centre & National Clinical Lead for Value-Based and Prudent Healthcare gave a presentation on the power of clinical and patient-generated data. Dr Lewis stated that there is a need for a whole-system view with parity of esteem for financial and process data, as well as clinical outcomes and patient-relevant outcomes such as quality of life and symptom burden. A strategic approach to data and information is needed because ‘Knowledge is King’.

Professor Richard Greene, Director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, Professor Gerry Fitzpatrick, Chair of National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC), Edel Manning, Research Midwife and Perinatal Mortality Project Manager with NPEC and Siobhan Whelan, Patient Representative with NPEC welcomed the publication of the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee’s National Clinical Audit No. 2 Perinatal Mortality. The audit looks at obstetric and neonatal care in relation to perinatal mortality and it is the second audit to be quality assured by the NCEC.

Edward Gregg, PhD Professor and Head of School of Population Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland spoke about how data needs to be at the forefront of diabetes care, with diabetes affecting approximately 10% of the population. He demonstrated the need for hospital, pharmacy, and GP data to manage chronic disease.

Collette Tully, NOCA Executive Director provided the closing address. She noted that 14 submissions were made for the NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022, an accolade which seeks to recognise the commitment and dedication in the Irish health care system to the constant need for quality improvement to improve patient care. She also praised all applicants, who despite the pressures of COVID-19 on the healthcare system, continued to place importance on quality improvement.

She announced the winner and two highly commended projects which were submitted. The winning project was ‘A High Heel Initiative’ from the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, with the projects from University Hospital Waterford and University Hospital Limerick coming high commended. A booklet of all submissions received will be made available in the coming weeks.

From left to right: Mary Mullen ANP Ortho-Geriatrics, Ruth Buckley MMUH Quality Manager, Professor Joe Duggan Consultant Geriatrician, Gráinne Sheehan CNS Tissue Viability

Copies of the presentations are available by clicking on the presentation title below.

Speaker Presentation Dr Brian Creedon, Clinical Director, NOCA Welcome Address Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE An update from the HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Ronan Margey, Clinical Lead, Irish Heart Attack Audit Launch: Irish Heart Attack Audit National Report 2017-2020 Shiji Paulose, Stroke CNS, University Hospital Limerick NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022 - Stroke HIPE Data Reconciliation Project Siobhán Corcoran, Orthopaedic Business Manager, University Hospital Waterford NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022 - UHW Fast-Track Knee Pathway Gráinne Sheehan, Tissue Viability Nurse, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022 - A high HEEL initiative Dr Sally Lewis, Director of the Welsh Value in Health Centre & National Clinical Lead for Value-Based and Prudent Healthcare Knowledge is King Edward Gregg, PhD Professor and Head of School of Population Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland The gaps and opportunities for data to drive action for diabetes Collette Tully, Executive Director, NOCA Presentation of the NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2022 & Closing Address

Recording Image


Missed the NOCA Annual Conference 2022? You can catch up on all the insightful discussions and presentations by accessing the video recording here.

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