HSE chief executive, Paul Reid visited health services in Limerick and Clare this week as part of a series of visits to services around the country.
Councillor Cillian Murphy described this visit as a “farewell tour”.
During his visit, Mr Reid met staff involved in a range of initiatives and heard in particular about how acute and community services are collaborating and integrating to improve health outcomes. An important element of the visit was to acknowledge and thank staff for their work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a HSE press statement.
At University Hospital Limerick, he saw specific services designed to reduce Emergency Department waiting times and avoid hospital admission for patients who would be better cared for in appropriate services in the community.
He spoke to the team promoting early stroke discharge, which is leading to better outcomes and less use of acute beds, visited the cancer directorate, which is eliminating ED delays for cancer patients, and heard details of initiatives by the hospital’s patient flow team to deal with the ongoing high demand for hospital services.
He visited the Community Intervention Team, which is a collaboration between acute and community services to support patients returning home and is based in Dooradoyle, Limerick.
On Wednesday in Clare, Mr Reid visited specialist services, including the Acute Psychiatric Unit in Ennis, and the Injury Unit and Medical Assessment Unit at Ennis Hospital. While in Ennis, he saw the new Primary Care Centre, which is nearing completion.
Mr Reid also travelled to Scariff to see the newly-built extension at Raheen Community Nursing Unit.
He also met some of the team who have provided the healthcare response to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis in the Mid West Region.
Mr Reid said a key plank of national health policy is to encourage the integration of services provided to patients in our acute hospitals and in the community.
“Where we really see this in action is at a local level. I am really looking forward to hearing of the great progress being made across services in the Mid-West.
“I will also be expressing my thanks and admiration to staff who not only managed an extraordinary public health crisis under huge pressure over the past two years, but who innovated and changed how they provide services over that time in order to protect the public.”