The three priorities for the Irish Health Services

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Bernard Gloster
Bernard Gloster

HSE CEO, Mr. Brendan Gloster has said his three priorities were access to health services, to ensure the timely implementation of policies and to build public confidence in the services,

 In a message to staff during the summer, he said how the HSE created the space for the public to be confident was by having humility.” Public confidence is not about perfection.  The Irish people are very forgiving. What the public want from us is for us to have the humility to talk about things that are not working so well.” he said. 

“As CEO of the HSE, I am committed to overseeing significant improvements in our health service.  Ahead of the RHA proposed changes, I have taken direct management responsibility for the HSE part of this change. To ensure we do not wait for that alone I have also introduced some interim significant management change processes that have taken effect as and from April this year.

“Three things in particular I will address. Firstly, access to health services and how we respond to same. Our health service is so good you just have to look at life expectancy in Ireland and how we have mastered many of the chronic diseases. We have the fastest growth rate of life expectancy in the developed world. However, this is no good for the people who cannot access it and one of my first priorities is to make this better.

“I want to create a view in this organisation that access is not just about the person on the trolley in the ED department. I want access to be about facilitating as many people as possible to have their needs met. Patients in Donegal, Dingle and Dublin should all have similar access to care.

“The second thing I want to set as a priority is timely implementation. We are really good as an organisation at developing policy. We are however not always good at implementation and this is because it takes time.

“The third challenge that I have set for myself is in the area of public confidence.  Public confidence is a very important thing. We in the HSE are tasked with that which is most important and dear to the hearts of Irish people and that is their health and life.

“How we create that space for the public to be confident in us is by having humility.  Public confidence is not about perfection. The Irish people are very forgiving.  What the public want from us is for us to have the humility to talk about things that are not working so well. 

“These three challenges in conjunction with the significant number of change programmes taking place in the organisation including the RHAs. There are three words I would like you all to consider in everything you plan, in everything you do and in approaching how you do the job every day. They are three of the most interconnected part of the framework for my time leading this organisation for however long that maybe and they are: 

  1. Care
  2. Culture
  3. Governance

“EHealth needs to be a crucial enabler in helping us to meet these challenges. We will finalise or new Digital Implementation plan later this summer, and that will set out our ambitious vision and targets out until 2030. It will provide a north star, a mission for ehealth to embark upon.

“Of course, in the immediate term, the current eHealth & ICT Capital plan, and your operational ICT plans must also be delivered and the solutions currently being implemented and supported across the country will provide the foundations for that future strategy.

“The evolution of healthcare technology and decision-support tools is leading to smarter decisions and sustainable improvements. The organisation continues to evolve.  Accessing the right data in the right setting at the right time within a framework of Care, Culture and Governance will lead not only to a good organisation but a great one.

“In setting out here the three key challenges – Access, Timely Implementation  & Public Confidence – my ask of eHealth is that you play a strong part in ensuring we meet these challenges.”