Press Release

Minister Harris launches Public Consultation on Geographical Alignment of Community Healthcare Organisations and Hospital Groups

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Thursday) launched a Public Consultation on the Geographical Alignment of Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) and Hospital Groups.

The consultation, which is part of the implementation of the Sláintecare Report, is seeking views on the organisational arrangements necessary to support a model of integrated and patient-centred care.

Minister Harris said “The Department of Health is now seeking the views and ideas of stakeholders and members of the public on this important issue. The Sláintecare Report proposes a new model of care for Ireland, under which the right care is delivered, by the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Primary and community care must be at the heart of our healthcare system, and that care must also be integrated across settings and must be safe and of high quality.

“The alignment of CHOs and Hospital Groups is set out as one of the fundamental principles underpinning the healthcare reforms in the SláinteCare Report. This relationship between CHOs and HGs is critical in the pursuit of connected care and patient-centred service delivery. The SláinteCare Report recommends achieving alignment with minimum disruption and with a focus on using CHOs and CHNs (Community Healthcare Networks) as the core unit of health service coordination and provision.

“The alignment of health and social care delivery structures with common defined geographical catchment areas makes sense. It provides a coherent and enabling platform for improved clinical integration and for collective responsibility for health outcomes and value for money. Potentially, greater alignment could remove some of the barriers between hospital and community services, between physical and mental health and between health and social care.”

“In rolling out the implementation of the reforms outlined in the SláinteCare Report, I am keen to consider the views of health and social care professionals and of the Irish public, and to receive their guidance on how best to progress this fundamental recommendation of the SláinteCare Report.”

The consultation is open until 23 May 2018 and can be accessed online at http://health.gov.ie/consultations

This Public Consultation launched today is part of a broader consultation process on Geographic Alignment of Community Health Organisations and Hospital Groups. A report of the findings of this Public Consultation will be published by the Department of Health.

ENDS

Notes to the editor

Submissions can be made by:
· Completing the consultation online at http://health.gov.ie/consultations
· Requesting a copy of the consultation paper from the Department and returning it by post.