Minister Announces Hospital Groups and Publishes The Framework for Smaller Hospitals
The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD today (Tuesday, 14 May, 2013) announced a reorganisation of public hospitals into more efficient and accountable hospital groups that will deliver improved outcomes for patients. This represents the most fundamental reform of the Irish acute hospital system in decades.
The Government’s decision regarding the establishment and operation of the new hospital groups was informed by two reports - ‘The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a Transition to Independent Hospital Trusts’, produced by an expert group led by Professor John Higgins following consultation with stakeholders, and ‘The Framework for Development – Securing the Future of Smaller Hospitals’. Both reports were published today. These reports fulfil important commitments in Future Health, the strategic framework for reform of the health service which was published last November.
By working in groups, hospital services will be provided by the hospitals in each group, based on the evidence based needs of their populations. Each group of hospitals will work together as single cohesive entities managed as one, to provide acute care for patients in their area, integrating with community and primary care. This will maximise the amount of care delivered locally, whilst ensuring complex care is safely provided in larger hospitals. Six hospital groups will be established as follows:
North East; Dublin
Ø South/South West;
Ø West/North West;
Each group will comprise between six and eleven hospitals and will include at least one major teaching hospital. Each grouping will also include a primary academic partner in order to stimulate a culture of learning and openness to change within the hospital group. Robust governance and management structures will be put in place at group level.