HomeJune 2014News from around your health services

News from around your health services

HSE re-assigns leaders

The HSE has appointed Dr. Tony O’Connell, the recently appointed CEO of the Dublin North East Hospitals Group, as the HSE National Director for Acute Hospitals.

Dr. O’Connell, who holds MBBS (Hons), FANZCA, FCICM, FCHSM (Hon), GAICD degrees has most recently been Director-General of the Queensland public health system in Australia where he managed 182 hospitals, a budget of €8 billion and had over 80,000 staff. Queensland covers a geographic area equivalent to the combined areas of France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The HSE said that during his time as Director-General he delivered the best-ever performance in finance, elective surgery, emergency departments and quality and safety in the state. He led successful statewide programmes in two of Australia’s largest states designed to deliver more efficient care for hospital patients.

He is a medical practitioner with specialist qualifications in both anaesthesia and intensive care.

His work in health services has been recognized with Premier’s Awards in both New South Wales and Queensland.

Ian Carter
Ian Carter

He has been a leading clinician in NSW, leading a large statewide clinical programme and acting as clinical champion for major service reform. He has been director of a large intensive care unit for children.

Mr. Ian Carter, who formerly held the post as HSE National Director for Acute Hospitals has been re-assigned by the HSE to the post of National Director, Strategic Development.

The HSE said the post of National Director, Strategic Development

centres on a number of key strategic and service issues that need to be developed and addressed as part of the ongoing Reform Programme in the health services.

A spokesperson said the Director for Strategic Development will continue as part of the HSE Leadership Team, the post will not require him to be part of the Directorate.  Dr. O’Connell will also be part of the HSE Leadership Team.


Angela Fitzgerald
Angela Fitzgerald

Ms. Angela Fitzgerald has been appointed Deputy National Director of Acute Hospitals. Ms. Fitzgerald was previously HSE Dublin North East Regional Director for Performance & Integration and is a former Deputy Chief Executive of St. James’s Hospital, Dublin.

Stephen Mulvaney
Stephen Mulvaney

Mr. Stephen Mulvaney, HSE National Director of Mental Health has taken over as HSE Chief Financial Officer on an interim basis following the resignation of HSE CFO, Mr. Tom Byrne, following less than a year in the job. Mr. Mulvaney will hold the post for a for a nine month period to allow for the recruitment of a new CFO, following which he will return to his mental health post.

In the meantime, Ms. Anne O’Connor, former head of operations and services management on the HSE Mental Health Management Team has been appointed National Director for Mental Health.   Mr. Jim Ryan, former local health manager has been reassigned to Ms. O’Connor’s former role.

Transfer of orthopaedic services to SIVUH

Elective  in-patient, rehabilitation, trauma and day surgery orthopaedic services have been transferred from St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital (SMOH) to the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) in Cork.

Prof Geraldine McCarthy, Chairperson South/South West Hospital Group, Ms Helen Donovan, Director of Nursing SIVUH, Mr Robin Newenham, SIVUH Board, Mr Gerard O’Callaghan, CEO SIVUH, Mr Dan Wallace, Chairman SIVUH Board, Mr Michael Hall, Vice-Chairman SIVUH Board, Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, Minister of State Deputy Kathleen Lynch and Mr Colm Taylor, Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Prof Geraldine McCarthy, Chairperson South/South West Hospital Group, Ms Helen Donovan, Director of Nursing SIVUH, Mr Robin Newenham, SIVUH Board, Mr Gerard O’Callaghan, CEO SIVUH, Mr Dan Wallace, Chairman SIVUH Board, Mr Michael Hall, Vice-Chairman SIVUH Board, Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, Minister of State Deputy Kathleen Lynch and Mr Colm Taylor, Orthopaedic Surgeon.

The reconfiguration of orthopaedic services has been carried out on a phased basis over the last two years.

As part of the reconfiguration process theatre capacity has been increased from two theatres to three new state-of–the-art orthopaedic operating theatres, beds have been ring fenced for orthopaedics and a number of in-patient beds have been re-engineered to day beds.

The SIVUH now has ten day beds, 25 elective beds, 30 trauma rehabilitation beds and six children’s beds for orthopaedic services.

The paediatric orthopaedic service has been developed with the appointment, from within existing resources, of two additional orthopaedic surgeons with a special interest in paediatrics. There are now eight orthopaedic surgeons operating in the hospital and there is an on site 24 hour anaesthesia and medicine service available.

Prior to the transfer there were no paediatric orthopaedic surgeons in the Cork and Kerry region and an elective outpatients service was provided in St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital by visiting orthopaedic surgeons from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, in Crumlin.

Approximately 8,000 orthopaedic outpatients and 3,000 orthopaedic inpatients and day patients attend the SIVUH annually.

The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly officially opened the new orthopaedic theatre complex at SIVUH on Monday May 19.

 CRC Chief Executive

Ms. Stephanie Manahan has been appointed as the new CEO of the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin.


Stephanie Manahan
Stephanie Manahan

Ms. Manahan was previously Deputy Hospital Manager in Connolly Hospital, Dublin and has extensive experience in the health and social care arena.

A native of Cork, she studied in Trinity College Dublin, completing a four year degree in Occupational Therapy.  Following graduation she specialised in working in the area of mental health and worked in a wide variety of service settings in the United Kingdom across the acute, community and management sectors.

She completed her Master in Management and Mental Health Studies while she was in the United Kingdom. Her masters was undertaken within the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guys and St Thomas’s and awarded by the University of London.

Ms. Manahan returned to Ireland in 1997 and took up the role of Occupational Therapy Manager in the newly built Tallaght Hospital. During this time she also became the Chair of the National Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland.

In 2006 she moved to Connolly Hospital where she took up a senior management role to manage the many divisions of the allied health and social care professions before taking up the role of Deputy Hospital Manager. She has had a key role in the management of Connolly Hospital and the delivery of performance improvement by the hospital.  Her appointment to the CRC was made through the Public Appointments Commission.

New Board of CRC

Mr. Kieran J. Timmins has been appointed Chairman of the Board of the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin. He is CEO and a founding member of SmartCentric Technologies International Ltd.

Kieran J. Timmins
Kieran J. Timmins

Ms. Carol Ann Casey has been appointed Vice-Chairperson. She is Managing Director of CA Compliance, a firm that specialises in Human Resources consulting and governance services.

The other board members are Ms. Emer Moriarty Crowley who is a senior corporate lawyer, specialising in corporate law and governance, Mr. Damien Daly who is Director of Marketing and Customer Analytics at Bank of Ireland Group, Mr. Tom Fleming who is Director of Human Resources at Volkswagen Group Ireland,  Mr. Sean Hickey who is Head of Information Technology for Boots Contract Manufacturing, Dr. Malcolm MacLachlan who is Professor of Global Health at Trinity College Dublin and Extraordinary Professor of Rehabilitation at Stellenbosch University, South Africa,  Ms. Chris McElhinney who is a Chartered Accountant and Mr. Tom Quinn, who is a qualified Barrister and retired RTÉ Group Secretary.

The board will consider the possibility of additional members as required in the future.

Beaumont psychiatric unit

The Ashlin Centre, the new North Dublin Mental Health Services inpatient psychiatric unit, located on the grounds of Beaumont Hospital has been opened for patients.

It is providing acute inpatient treatment and care for general adult and psychiatry of old age patients for the 250,000 population of the North Dublin area.

It replaces the acute inpatient unit at St. Ita’s Hospital in Portrane, Co. Dublin.  The Joyce Unit, a general adult psychiatric admissions unit provides 38 single ensuite rooms, while the Sheehan Unit has six single ensuite rooms for the psychiatry of old age service.

The Centre has an extensive activities area including an art room, project room, sensory room, conference room and four courtyard gardens.

Pending the opening of The Ashlin Centre, the services had been provided on a temporary basis – since 2011 – in the Joyce Rooms, St. Vincent’s Fairview and Hawthorn Unit Connolly Hospital pending the completion of the unit.

Mullingar psychiatric unit

The new 43 bed  acute admissions unit at St. Loman’s Hospital, Mullingar has been officially opened by the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Ms. Kathleen Lynch.

It will provide short term admission for assessment and treatment of patients requiring hospitalisation, as well as care for patients with challenging behaviours and mental illness.

The new unit has 36 single ensuite bedrooms, an eight-bedded high observation assessment unit with day room and therapy areas, assessment areas and office units.

Clinical Education & Research Centre for Limerick

The HSE is to build a state-of-the art clinical education and research centre on the University Hospital, Limerick campus.

The building, which is due to open in 2016, will provide a four-storey clinical education building, a 150-seat lecture theatre, library, tutorial rooms, offices and research facilities, with a ground floor link to the hospital.

Construction is due to begin this autumn and the building will take about 16 months to complete   It is included in the Hospitals Capital Development Plan 2014 and is being progressed to facilitate University of Limerick students of the Graduate Entry Medical School.

Minister says no change to Navan A & E

Health Minister, Dr. James Reilly has said there will be no change to Navan Accident and Emergency Department in the short term.

Speaking on May 20, the Minister said “I will not stand over any change to Navan Hospital Accident and Emergency Department while there is not enough capacity elsewhere in the system to safely accommodate the patients that are treated there. If there is proven capacity in the system, there will be changes to Navan Accident and Emergency Department in the best medical interests of patients from the area. It is not feasible for this to take place in the short term.”

 Medical card eligibility review

The HSE has appointed an Expert Panel to examine how medical needs should be taken into account in the context of medical card eligibility.

This follows the suspension by HSE Director General, Mr. Tony O’Brien of the reviews of medical cards where discretion had been exercised to take account of medical circumstances.

The Expert Panel will examine and recommend the range of medical conditions that should be considered when determining medical card eligibility. The work of the Expert Panel will inform the development of a policy framework for medical card eligibility to take account of medical conditions, as announced by Government last week.

The Expert Panel will be chaired by Prof. Frank Keane, Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Surgery. It includes a range of clinical experts from primary care, specialist services and therapies and a patient representative to ensure that the views of patients are central to the process.

It will identify a range of medical conditions, in priority order, that would benefit most from medical card eligibility. It has been asked to report to HSE Director General, Mr. Tony O’Brien by September 2014.

A public consultation is also underway to seek the views of the public; including patients, patient representative groups and professional bodies.

The Expert Panel is Chaired by Prof Frank Keane, Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Clinical Lead & National Clinical Programme for Surgery and the Vice-Chair is Dr. Alan Smith, Medical Director – Screening Policy, National Cancer Screening Services & Chair of the Resource Requirement/Health Economic Group.

The members are Ms. Emma Benton, Therapy Professions Advisor, Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division, Dr. Aine Carroll, National Director Clinical Strategy and Programmes, Dr. Mary Devin, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatrician in Palliative Care, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dr. John Fitzsimmons, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Director for Quality Improvement, Quality and Patient Safety Division, Dr. Mary Gray, General Practitioner, Limerick, Dr. Johanna Joyce, Principal Medical Officer, Dublin Mid Leinster, Dr. Brian Lynch, Consultant in Paediatric Neurology, Children’s University Hospital Temple Street, Dublin, Dr. John MacFarlane, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Ms. Marion Meany, Assistant National Director, Disability Services, Social Care Division, Dr. Austin O’Carroll, General Practitioner, Dublin, Dr. Susan O Reilly, Director, National Cancer Control Programme, Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Older People, Ms. Marie Price Bolger, Chief Executive of TRUSTUS. Chair of the Local Patient and Community Advisory Group, Tallaght, Ms. Virginia Pye, Director of Public Health Nursing, Longford/Westmeath, Dr. Karen Ryan, Clinical Lead Palliative Care,  National Clinical Programme for Palliative Care, Dr. Máirín Ryan, Director of Health of Technology Assessment, HIQA, Dr. Mary Sheehan, Chairperson, Irish College of General Practitioners & General Practitioner, Laois, Prof. Eileen Treacy, Clinical Lead, National Clinical Programme for Rare Diseases and Consultant in Metabolic Disorders, Dr. John Whately, General Practitioner, Dundalk, Dr. Peter Wright, Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Division and Dr. Margo Wrigley, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry and Group Clinical Lead Mental Health Division.

Kenmare Community Nursing Unit

The Kenmare Community Nursing Unit built at a cost of €8m has been officially opened by Health Minister Dr. James Reilly.

The Nursing Unit is a 40 single en-suite room facility providing continuing care, convalescent and respite care for the local people of Kenmare, Sneem, Castlecove, Bonane and Kilgarvan who  require additional inpatient supports or for those who can no longer live at home independently and require long term residential care.

The Unit, which opened to residents in 2013, replaced the old Kenmare Community Hospital which served the community for almost 100 years.

The unit is spread over two floors; ‘Sheen House’ on the ground floor and ‘Caha House’ and ‘Roughty House’ upstairs.  A palliative care suite with a dedicated family area is also provided with the decoration and equipping of the suite funded by donations and local support groups. The unit was in a position to support residents from a private nursing home in Killarney who had to vacate their unit in February following storm damage, and are being cared for by staff from Mowlam healthcare on the first floor at present. In addition to the 40 residential care beds there is also accommodation for a mental health day care centre, as well as a new ambulance base for the locality.

This year the building won the Best Healthcare Building award in the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Community and Council awards.

Ger Reaney, Area Manager, HSE Kerry and Cork said “ I would like to thank all the  staff for their ongoing care and commitment and to congratulate all those involved with this development and for making it the special facility it is; something that was recognised when the Unit won the Best Healthcare Building award in the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Community and Council awards this year.”

The Minister also officially opened the Primary Care Centre  in Kenmare which has been operational since 2012.

Eithne McAullliffe, HSE General Manager, Kerry said the development of the Primary Care Centre in Kenmare had enabled the HSE to work closely with GPs and provide a range of services in one local centralised location.  There were eight GPs and their practice staff integrated with HSE staff.

The Kenmare/Sneem primary care team covers a large geographic area with a population of approximately 7,000.

Blackrock Hall Primary Care Centre

The HSE Blackrock Hall Primary Care Centre has been officially opened by the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly.

Gabrielle O' Keeffe GM HSE in Cork and Ger Reaney  Area Manager HSE South at the Ministerial opening
Gabrielle O’ Keeffe GM HSE in Cork and Ger Reaney Area Manager HSE South at the Ministerial opening

The HSE services provided on the first floor in Blackrock Hall include Public Health and  Community Nursing, Home Support Office, Dietetics, Physiotherapy,  Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Community Mental Health Team and Out Patient Clinics, Area Medical Officers, Psychology, Counselling in Primary Care (CiPC), Community Dental Clinics and Early Intervention Service for children with disabilities.

The HSE staff based in the primary care centre work with local GPs and other health care professionals to provide an integrated and locally based health service by allowing service users to access services more readily, enhancing the plan of care when complex needs are presented, reducing the number of people being admitted to hospital, facilitating earlier discharge home from hospital and allowing greater liaison between all the health professionals ensuring more comprehensive care for local service users.

Ger Reaney, Area Manger HSE Cork said, “The development of the Primary Care Centre has allowed increased communication and joint working among health professionals, which has resulted in more cohesive and comprehensive care for service users. It has enabled the HSE to provide a range of services in one local centralised location. Previous to the development of this Primary Care Centre, local people had to travel to various other city locations for non acute health care.  People in the Blackrock and Mahon areas can now conveniently access a range of primary care and outreach services locally in Blackrock Hall. The provision of the Insulin Pump School for children by the Cork University Hospital Paediatric Department on an outreach basis in Blackrock Hall over the last 12 months is an example of the benefits of an integrated health services approach to children with diabetes and their families.”

The Primary Care Centre serves a population of approximately 30,000 people in Mahon, Blackrock and the surrounding area.  The goal of primary care services in Blackrock Hall is to respond in a timely manner to the identified health needs of the local community, in line with the National Primary Care strategy. Primary Care Services aim to support and promote the health and well-being of the population by making people’s first point of contact with health services easily accessible, integrated and locally based.  The ultimate aim is to keep people well in their homeswith access to a greater range of health and social care services in their communityand ensure that only those who need specialist services go to an acute hospital or other setting.

 Blanchardstown centre opened

Mr. Alex White, Minister of State in charge of primary care has officially opened the Blanchardstown Primary Care and Mental Health Centre in Dublin.

The community mental health team for Blanchardstown West, the primary care teams of Ongar and Mountview/Blakestown/Coolmine and two GP surgeries are located in the centre.

Mr. Des O’Flynn, Area Manager for the HSE Dublin North Central said the new centre would help clinicians and staff to better respond to clients’ needs, improving collaboration across disciplines and supporting the goal of better access to local health and social care.

North Leitrim Centre officially opened

The North Leitrim Primary and Mental Health Care Centre in Manorhamilton has been officially opened by Mr. Alex White, Minister of State for Primary Care.

The North Leitrim Primary and Mental Health Care Centre, which is based on the North Leitrim Healthcare Campus on the outskirts of Manorhamilton  is operating from the former North Western Health Board Headquarters building, which has been totally refurbished and modernised.  The campus also hosts Our Lady’s Hospital, Arus Breffini Community Nursing Unit and Aras Slainte Cluainin, Health Business Services.

Services  provided from the new centre include General Practitioner services; Public Health Nursing services; Occupational Therapy services; Home Care services; Dietician services; Speech & Language Therapy services; Psychology Services and Dental services. There will also be facilities available for visiting services. The centre also provides the team base for the North Leitrim Mental Health Care Service.

Ms. Mary Conboy, Primary Care Team Development Manager, Sligo/Leitrim said: “Primary care health services are the first point of contact for people in the community and I am delighted that we have a fully integrated centre here in Manorhamilton. The new facility in Manorhamilton has been in planning for a number of years and will allow the provision of high quality health care in a modern, spacious and safe environment.”

Mr. Damian McCallion, HSE Area Manager, Sligo/Leitrim stated, “The HSE is delighted to officially open this new centre, which will greatly enhance the delivery of health services in Manorhamilton and the surrounding area.  With the development of new centres in Ballinamore (due for completion in 2014) and Carrick on Shannon (in planning stage) this will complete our infrastructure for Primary Care Services in Co. Leitrim. This primary and mental health care centre will allow the public to have easy access to an increased range of services based in the one location, close to home.  It is hoped that only those who require the specialist services available in an acute hospital will need to go to the hospital setting. The development of primary and mental health care teams is a key element of our national plan for developing community-based health services.”

Summerhill primary care centre opened

The Summerhill Primary Care Centre, which accommodates the HSE Primary Care Centre, Summerhill GP Practice, National Third Age Centre and Summerhill Pharmacy has been officially opened by Mr. Alex White, Minister of State for Primary Care .

The Summerhill Primary Care Centre will provide health services to over 6,000 people living in the Summerhill/South West Meath area.

HSE services currently being provided from the Primary Care Centre include public health nursing, counselling and dietetics with plans to develop additional services as funding becomes available. The HSE will also develop a range of outreach services such as retinal screening, breastfeeding support and group clinics.

Dermot Monaghan, Area Manager, HSE Louth Meath said, “This new purpose built facility brings together HSE Primary Care Services and local General Practitioners who can work together to provide patient-centred services to the local population. This centre also presents an exciting opportunity for integration with the voluntary sector as it is one of the first primary care developments to have HSE services, general practitioner and voluntary sector combined as part of the development. It will also facilitate the further integration of service delivery which can only be enhanced as future services are delivered in the primary care setting.” 

Minister opens new Mallow Units

The newly built Endoscopy and Medical Assessment Units at Mallow General Hospital have been officially opened by Heath Minister, Dr. James Reilly.

Mary Owens Director of Nursing, Jason Kenny Operations Manager CUH Group and Brenda Herlihy  Assistant Director of Nursing  pictured as the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, pays a visit to Mallow General Hospital to officially open the newly built Endoscopy and Medical Assessment Units.
Mary Owens Director of Nursing, Jason Kenny Operations Manager CUH Group and Brenda Herlihy Assistant Director of Nursing pictured as the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, pays a visit to Mallow General Hospital to officially open the newly built Endoscopy and Medical Assessment Units.

Prof. Geraldine McCarthy Chair of the South/South West Hospital Group said that Mallow General Hospital was playing a significant role in delivering appropriate, safe and quality services to the local community and as part of the overall re-organisation of acute services in the South was now performing procedures that would previously have been done in the large hospitals in Cork city.

The build was part of a €4.5m capital investment in Mallow General Hospital, which opened in 2013 and consists of a two-storey extension with the Medical Assessment Unit on the ground floor and a replacement Endoscopy Suite on the first floor.

The eight-bed Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, treating patients referred directly by their GP/SouthDoc, who are suffering from a recent onset of symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain or blackouts. The unit only accepts patients referred by their GP or SouthDoc to ensure that only patients suitable for treatment present at this Unit.

Patients referred to the MAU will be seen within an hour of arrival by a senior doctor who has ready access to diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests, scans, etc. The MAU is staffed by a team including consultant physicians, nurses, healthcare assistants, dieticians, administrators, caterers and housekeepers.

Ms. Mary Owens, Director of Nursing at Mallow General Hospital said, “the changes that have been introduced at Mallow General Hospital over the last year ensure that patients receive quality care in the most appropriate setting. During its first year in operation, the Medical Assessment Unit has treated an average of 75 new patients weekly which amounts to over 4,000 new patients and 1,000 return patients annually.”

The new Endoscopy suite is a modern, patient-centred build with two procedures rooms, a first stage recovery room and a discharge lounge, which replaces the existing endoscopy facility. Patients are referred for an endoscopy by their GP or consultant to investigate symptoms such as vomiting or bleeding. It is performed as a day procedure and the following endoscopies can be performed: gastroscopy (upper intestine) sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy (lower intestine) and bronchoscopy (lung and airways).

 In addition to staff based at Mallow General, visiting clinicians from the Cork University Hospital including gastroenterologists and surgeons, provide out-reach endoscopy services in the suite. Further development in the area of bronchoscopy (respiratory medicine) is due to commence shortly.

Ms. Owens said, “Two thousand endoscopy procedures were performed at Mallow General Hospital in 2013. We anticipate that this figure will increase by 50% over the next 12 months. The extra capacity in our new state-of-the-art, purpose-built endoscopy suite allows us to provide elective endoscopy services to the region. We are currently averaging 55 procedures per week. We have started a process in the endoscopy suite to gain accreditation from the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.”

Now it’s University Hospital Waterford

Health Minister Dr. James Reilly has formally renamed Waterford Regional Hospital as University Hospital Waterford (UHW).

Mr Richard Dooley, General Manager, WRH, Prof Geraldine McCarthy, Chair of the South and South West Hospitals Group, Dr Phillip Crowley, National Director of Quality and Patient Safety, HSE, Ms Claire Tully, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, WRH, Dr. Rob Landers, Clinical Director, WRH, and Mr Mark Doyle,Consultant in Emergency Medicine, WRH pictured at the  first Quality Improvement Conference in Waterford Regional Hospital.
Mr Richard Dooley, General Manager, WRH, Prof Geraldine McCarthy, Chair of the South and South West Hospitals Group, Dr Phillip Crowley, National Director of Quality and Patient Safety, HSE, Ms Claire Tully, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, WRH, Dr. Rob Landers, Clinical Director, WRH, and Mr Mark Doyle,Consultant in Emergency Medicine, WRH pictured at the first Quality Improvement Conference in Waterford Regional Hospital.

Prof. Geraldine McCarthy, Chair of the South/SouthWest Hospital Group said that the renaming of the Hospital was significant as it represented its key role as part of the Group and the new partnership with UCC, its primary academic partner. This provided for integration and collaboration, teaching , research and education opportunities between the hospital and the college.

University Hospital Waterford has a new emergency department and neo natal unit as part of a €9.5 million development at the hospital and a new €1.75 million CT Unit provided with the assistance of a €430,000 donation from the Waterford City & County Infirmary Trust to buy a second CT scanner.

Bon Secours Hospital Dublin awarded fifth JCI Accreditation

Bon Secours Hospital Dublin has, for the fifth time, been awarded Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.  Bon Secours was the first hospital in Ireland, and one of the first globally, to achieve JCI accreditation in 2002.

JCI Accreditation is widely recognised as the international gold standard for acute care hospitals with over 600 organisations currently accredited worldwide.  The JCI review process assesses the hospital under 14 distinct but interrelated headings including: care of patients; quality improvement; patient safety; governance; leadership and direction.  Over 1,100 distinct measurable elements or scoring opportunities ensure comprehensive scrutiny of the entire operation.

A separate mid-term visit by Joint Commission International also accredited the hospital’s state of the art Interventional Cardiology Suite in 2012.

Speaking on behalf of Bon Secours Hospital Dublin, Hospital Manager Gareth Jones said, “We are delighted to have once again received JCI accreditation and tacit recognition of the highest quality and safety standards, endorsing our reputation among patients within a competitive environment. We pride ourselves on maintaining the high levels of compassion and care set by our founders, the Sisters of Bon Secours.

“Bon Secours Hospital Dublin expects to see in excess of 50,000 inpatient, day case and outpatients during 2014, and JCI accreditation highlights that we are offering patients unparalleled care and the highest standard of treatment from a large team of experts with state-of-the-art facilities.  A recent inpatient survey confirmed high levels of patient satisfaction across all care delivery parameters. This strong patient view is once again endorsed by the JCI Accreditation process.”

WHO honours Minister

Health Minister, Dr. James Reilly, has been formally recognised by the World Health Organisation for his work on tobacco control.

Dr. James Reilly, T.D.
Dr. James Reilly, T.D.

The WHO, as part of its annual World No Tobacco Day initiative, identified Minister Reilly as a key  international figure in the fight against the harms caused by tobacco (http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/awards2014/en/).

The WHO highlighted his work during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU on the Tobacco Products Directive , as well as his work in ensuring the development and implementation of Tobacco Free Ireland (TFI). TFI includes measures such as the introduction of standardised packaging and the banning of smoking in cars when children are present.

“Whilst it is a great honour for me personally to be recognised by the World Health Organisation, it is also a great honour for everyone  who works in tobacco control. This includes those in the  Department of Health, the HSE and the NGO sector and the many health care professionals throughout the country who work tirelessly to reduce  the terrible harm that tobacco use inflicts on our population” the Minister said.

“Unfortunately nearly every smoker becomes addicted when they are still children and the reality is that 1 in every 2 will be killed by a tobacco related disease. Whilst the health services have a really important role to play  in treating the illnesses caused by tobacco use in a timely and professional manner, it is more important that we, as a society, do all we can to prevent people from taking up smoking and becoming addicted to nicotine in the first place.  Time and effort spent on tobacco control is one of the best investments we can make for our citizens to ensure that we achieve our twin goals of a Tobacco Free Ireland and a Healthy Ireland”.

Digital breast tomosynthesis at Bon  Secours Hospital

Bon Secours Hospital Cork is the first location in the Republic of Ireland to offer digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT).  DBT is the latest advance in breast cancer diagnostics and has been proven to improve breast cancer detection rates by up to 50 per cent and reduce recall rates by up to 30 per cent.,

Carol O'Sullivan clinical specialist mammography and Norma Connolly clinical specialist mammography
Carol O’Sullivan clinical specialist mammography and Norma Connolly clinical specialist mammography

DBT is a new mammographic technology which allows the breast to be examined in 3D as opposed to the current standard of 2D mammography.  DBT allows the breast to be imaged in multiple thin slices rather than in one single image.  This technique reduces the effect of overlapping breast tissue in the radiological evaluation of the breast allowing for better visualisation, particularly in dense breast tissue or those with an increased risk of breast cancer.  DBT also enables clearer identification of esions within the breast.

RDPI Dublin North East

Ms. Anne Marie Hoey has been appointed  Regional Director of Performance and Integration for Dublin North East.

Ann Marie-Hoey
Ann Marie-Hoey

Since January 2012, she has been Area Manager for Dublin North with responsibility for all primary care services, services for older persons, disability services, mental health services and acute hospitals.

Prior to that she had been Local Health Manager for Co. Louth since 2006.  She has also been Director of Primary Care for the North Eastern Health Board Region and worked in Beaumont, Mater and Jervis Street acute hospitals.  She holds a B.Sc. in Health Services Management.

She is married with two children and lives in Co. Meath.

Cork City Manager

Ann Doherty, CEO of the University of Limerick Hospitals Group has been appointed Cork City Manager.  She will be Cork’s first female City Manager.

Ann Doherty
Ann Doherty

A native of County Limerick, she lives near Kinsale.  She was appointed Chief Executive of UL Hospitals in 2012 and has overseen major changes in health service provision in Limerick. This includes the controversial centralisation of acute services in the Mid West at University Hospital Limerick.

Awards for innovative digital projects

Innovative digital projects, aiming to improve patient experience, are to receive funding from The Digital Hub’s Connected Health project and St. James’s Hospital Foundation.

Fergus Thompson, Dr. Crhis Soraghan and Anthony Edwards.
Fergus Thompson, Dr. Crhis Soraghan and Anthony Edwards.

The development of an innovative hospital navigation app for smartphones and tablets, and an online website portal for accessing patient rehabilitation programmes aim to improve patient-centred healthcare experiences and achieve cost savings. This award is funded by Connected Health which was launched by The Digital Hub last year to support digital technology companies in the development of healthcare solutions.

Anthony Edwards, Senior Clinical Photographer, and Dr. Christopher Soraghan, Postdoctoral Researcher, were awarded funding by The Digital Hub and St. James’s Hospital Foundation for their proposal to develop an interactive app called ‘HospitalNav’ to enable staff, patients and visitors to better navigate the hospital campus.  They will engage with The Digital Hub to find a suitable developer, with whom they will work to develop their app through co-design meetings.  They will then collect and map internal hospital locations using an established mapping method. Ultimately, the HospitalNav will consist of a series of videos of routes, with GPS showing the user’s current location within the campus.

The Digital Hub & the Foundation are also to fund Fergus Thompson, Learning Technologies Manager at St. James’s Hospital to develop a public-facing ‘Patient Education Portal’ website for patients participating in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme at the Hospital.

The portal will be an online resource to support patients participating in the eight-week Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme, who have typically suffered a heart attack or similar cardiac event. Through the portal, the patient will be able to access information on issues such as how to exercise safely, healthy eating, stress and medication management. There will be a self-assessment facility for the patient to monitor their own cardiac rehabilitation once a week, linking back to the cardiac team at the end of the period for a final assessment and review.

Professor James Meaney, Chairman of St. James’s Hospital Foundation, said: “We would like to commend and congratulate the winners of our new digital award, kindly supported by The Digital Hub’s Connected Health project. The Foundation aims to attract investment to enhance the hospital.  I believe these two innovative digital solutions will not only benefit the hospital, its patients, staff and visitors, highlighting the hospital’s commitment to innovation in patient care, but have the potential to be of benefit to hospitals and healthcare providers globally. We are delighted to work with The Digital Hub and look forward to future collaboration on digital projects.”

Acting HIQA Ceo

Professor Jane Grimson, Director of Health Information and Deputy Chief Executive, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive of HIQA following the departure of Tracey Cooper who had been eight years in the post.

Prof. Jane Grimson
Prof. Jane Grimson

She said: “We have a very busy and important work programme ahead of us as outlined in our Corporate Plan 2013-2015. Central to the successful delivery of this programme is our fundamental commitment to transparency and independence that puts the people who use our health and social care services at the heart of what we do.

“The Authority has and will always act in the best interests of the public to drive safer better care.

“HIQA will continue to work towards improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of health and social care services for the people of Ireland and to support informed decisions on how services are delivered.”

Brian McEnery, Chairperson of HIQA, said, “We are fortunate to have someone of the calibre, dedication and professionalism of Jane Grimson to continue leading the Authority and ensuring our independent voice is heard in the interests of people who use our health and social care services.

“The Board and management of the Authority fully supports Jane and look forward to working with her to ensure HIQA’s work has a substantial impact on the delivery of services in the public interest.”