The NPEC works in collaboration with all 19 of Ireland’s maternity and neonatal units. It reviews their practices and makes recommendations for improvements in care based on that learning. Its objective is to evaluate and publish nationally representative data for all three areas of its focus on an annual basis.
The NPEC operates as an audit stream within NOCA. NOCA provides assisted governance to sustainable clinical audit programmes across all health services at national level, in order to improve outcomes for Irish patients.
It has responsibility to return recommendations arising from its audits to hospitals, via structured governance systems and changes applied either through the actions of individual clinicians or through more general systems improvements to the care of patients.
On behalf of the NPEC, NOCA ensures that recommendations made in successive NPEC audit reports are adequately reviewed by hospitals with the aim to promote continual learning. When identified, NOCA will ensure that data outliers identified by the NPEC are reviewed, reported and escalated appropriately. The NPEC places a high value on the importance of quality audit data; the review of audit output at hospital level; and the feeding of learning back to the wider health system for the benefit of patients. It is with this in mind that the NPEC operates as an audit stream within NOCA.