Hospital launches new five-year plan to improve care

UL Hospitals Group chief executive Colette Cowan

A NEW five-year strategy at UL Hospitals Group will see the group come under one entity, known as HSE Mid West, with strategies to be implemented to improve patient experience in line with the Sláintecare reform programme.

From early 2024, public acute and community health services across the region will be integrated under the new HSE Mid West entity.

The five-year plan is based on four strategic priorities. The first is ‘patient experience and public engagement’, which will see greater patient involvement in decision making, development of a patient engagement strategy, expansion of a ‘patient council’, and the setting up a Mid West citizen’s panel.

The ‘people performance and culture’ arm of the plan revolves around making the hospital group an attractive place to work, with increased opportunities for staff access to training and development opportunities.

The ‘academic health science system priority’ segment of the plan centres on the development and promotion of a coordinated partnership between the University of Limerick and the healthcare system in the Mid West. It focusses on providing high-quality care, promoting clinical excellence, and a culture of learning, research, and innovation.

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The final priority is about developing an ‘integrated care system’ for the Mid West, and will see the group work closely with HSE Mid West Community Healthcare to refocus the design and delivery of services around the needs of patients

The UL Hospitals Group provides acute hospital care to a population of approximately 410,000 from a network of six hospitals across Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary that together employ around 6,000 people.

Speaking as the group published the UL Hospitals Group Strategic Plan 2023-2027, UL Hospitals Group CEO, Professor Colette Cowan, said: “With this plan, we renew and reaffirm our commitment to improve current patient flow and pathways of care and to implement the priorities and objectives detailed in Sláintecare, the 10-year Government programme aiming to establish a universal, single-tier and high-quality healthcare system.”

Prof Cowan said the new hospital group strategy was aligned with the national plan and inspired by the promise of Sláintecare to organise health services according to local population need and on the principle of treating patients as close to home as possible.

“Our strategy is designed to accommodate the unique health profile and challenges of the Mid West region,” Prof Cowan said.