Minister confirms HSE restructuring into six regional boards with 'majority of care delivered in the community'

Minister confirms HSE restructuring into six regional boards with 'majority of care delivered in the community'

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has confirmed the biggest restructuring of the HSE since it was founded 15 years ago.

The Minister has created six regional health boards, a structure that was there before the HSE, which will devolve power from the central HSE.

The new regional health areas will have more autonomy to make decisions at a local level meaning they should be responsible for the planning and delivery of integrated health and social care services.

The six regional bodies will be set up with their own budgets based on population.

Minister Harris said: “Today’s announcement identifies the six regions which will be used in developing structures for the delivery of integrated care.

“This will result in clear financial and performance accountability, empower frontline staff and devolve authority from the HSE to the local regions.

“These proposals will help shape the future of healthcare in this country and will give the staff, and more importantly, communities a greater role in the delivery of health.”

Area A will include Dublin North, Meath, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.

Area B will be made up of the most counties: a part of Dublin South, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford.

Area C will provide services for part of Dublin South, as well as Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary South and Waterford.

Cork and Kerry are classified as Area D, while Area E is made up of Limerick, Tipperary North and Clare.

Area F will provide services to Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal.

Mr Harris said it is part of a wider change being brought under Sláintecare.

He said: "I think it's fair to say, we've got to be honest with each other, nobody believes that the HSE can continue in the way that it is.

"Patients don't believe, it, staff don't believe it, I don't believe it.

"We need less bureaucracy, we need more accountability and, crucially, we need fewer layers between the patient and the health service."

Laura Magahy, Sláintecare Executive Director, said: “I look forward to co-designing integrated health and social care services with the citizens and staff of the six regions.

"This population-based approach will allow us to hear from the people in each region and ensure that a big emphasis is placed on preventing sickness, keeping people healthy in or near their own homes for as long as possible and ensuring that excellent hospital care is available in a timely way, where necessary.”

Paul Reid, HSE CEO, said: ‘The agreement of the six new health regions is an important step in improving our health service, for everyone living in Ireland.

"We want people to be able to get the health services they need, as close to people’s homes as possible, with the majority of care delivered in the community and not in acute hospitals."

"Since I joined the HSE, I have met staff right across the country who work tirelessly to deliver the best care possible, and who have great energy and ambition for constantly improving what we do, and how we do it.

"However, our current structures do not always support them in doing this. These new integrated health regions provide us with the opportunity to put in place a system that ultimately supports and enables our staff to deliver the best care possible."

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