On July 7 I was honoured to be a member of the judging panel for the HMI Leaders Award 2015. Honoured because it gave me an opportunity to see evidence of the outstanding and committed leaders we have right throughout the health service. Leaders make change happen, and despite the many criticisms that come the way of the health service, it is clear that we are extremely fortunate to have so many leaders improving the health service at every level.
The awards are open to those who have been involved in initiatives that have delivered successful change in clinical or non-clinical areas. This year, there were 149 nominations, incorporating a wide range of projects in areas such as service delivery improvement, quality improvement, application of new technologies, implementation of a patient pathway, crisis response and application of lean health methodologies. Following a rigorous regional and national evaluation and shortlisting process, these 149 were reduced down to seven regional and one national winner.
The occasion of the national awards ceremony which was held in the Pillar Room in the Rotunda Hospital, was an opportunity to enhance the future of our health service by showcasing, recognising and celebrating individuals and teams who, by their work, have demonstrated leadership in bringing about change resulting in the enhancement of healthcare services.
I would like to thank HMI for recognising and rewarding the individuals who are often working tirelessly to improve health care and what a wonderful thing it is to see the acknowledgement to those individuals and teams who dare to be innovative.
Congratulations in particular to Dr. Alison Dougall from Dublin Dental University Hospital on winning the HMI Leaders Award 2015. Alison’s project was titled ‘Promoting improved access to dental care for people living with haemophilia in Ireland and encouraging a culture of oral health promotion within the teams that treat them’.
I think we all realise that the health service needs significant change and reform at every level. Often this reform is based on the actions of an individual who is not prepared to wait for someone else to make the change, but takes it on themselves to lead the way. The real talent of those individuals is that others choose to go with them on that journey. The HMI Leaders Award showcases the commitment, risk and perseverance which teams and individuals display in striving to achieve change, creating a culture that is focused on making real and positive improvements for patients and for those who work in the health service.