Annual Report: Clinical Services
Prof Patrick Broe
Following the revision of the original Clinical Directorate model in 2017 there have been some significant changes in personnel in the Group Clinical Leadership.
In Connolly Hospital, Professor Conor Burke was appointed Clinical Director in early 2018 succeeding Dr Eamon Leen to whom we are very grateful for his commitment to the Group from the outset. Dr Tommy Tun, Associated Clinical Director for Medicine has also demitted office and has been replaced by Dr Eamonn Dolan. Mr Peter Beddy has been appointed Clinical Lead in Surgery. Congratulations to Dr Emily O’Connor, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Dr Siobhan Kenneally, Consultant in the Care of the Elderly, with myself, have been appointed to the Medical Advisory Council of Sláintecare
In Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital (OLOL) Drogheda, Mr Sheirf El Masry was appointed Dean of Undergraduate Education by RCSI. He will demit office as Clinical Director but will continue as Associate Clinical Director for Perioperative Care. Dr Olwyn Lynch, Consultant Geriatrician has ably deputised for Dr El Masry at Medical SIMF meetings. Dr Seosamh O’Coigligh has provided excellent leadership as Clinical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
In Cavan General Hospital, Professor James Hayes continues as the Clinical Director. This year Dr Paulo Pineiro and Mr Tariq Cheema have been appointed Lead Clinicians in Medicine and Surgery respectively. Mr Pawan Rajpal has demitted office as Associate Clinical Director for Surgery and will shortly take up a new Group Role.
Dr Azer Zayed continues to provide excellent leadership as Clinical Lead in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and in particular managing recent challenges around consultant manpower. Dr Val Gough continues as Clinical Lead in Radiology and has been instrumental in developing two joint posts with Connolly Hospital.
In Beaumont Hospital, Professor Peter Conlon was appointed Lead Clinical Director in 2018. His replacement in the Medical Directorate is Professor Chris Thompson and Dr Patricia Houlihan is the new Clinical Director in Emergency Medicine. Mr Mohsen Javadpour completed his term as Clinical Director of the Neurocent Directorate and was succeeded by Mr Stephen McNally. The Clinical Directors in Anaesthetics, Radiology, Surgery, Urology Transplant and Pathology remain unchanged.
In the Rotunda Hospital, the Master, Professor Fergal Malone and the Clinical Director Dr John Loughrey continue to work closely with the Hospital Group. Dr Mary Holohan who now chairs the Women and Children’s SIMF provides excellent educational and professional support, on behalf of the Master, to obstetric colleagues in Cavan and OLOL.
We are grateful to all our colleagues in the hospitals who support the aims and ambitions of Group management by their commitment and continued interest.
Quality and Patient Safety (QPs)
Delivering high quality and safe clinical services to the patients we serve is a core principle of RCSI Hospital Group. Professor Siobhan Gormally has led the QPS Directorate since 2015 and she, Susan Moloney and Rosaleen Cafferty have developed a comprehensive set of safety and quality metrics that are presented monthly. These and other details of the work of the QPS Directorate are outlined in a separate report attached below. Professor Gormally has recently retired from clinical practice as a Paediatrician in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and we look forward to her continued commitment to the QPS Directorate of RCSI Hospital.
Clinical Services Development
The underlying principle of the Higgins Report is to provide higher quality specialist services to patients as close as is reasonably possible to where they live. Using the “hub and spoke model” with Beaumont as the hub (Rotunda for Gynaecology) we have successfully recruited and appointed Urologists, Vascular Surgeons, Gynaecologists and a Cardiologist who have designated sessions in Cavan General Hospital (Urology, Vascular, Cardiology), Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda (Vascular, Urology, Gynaecology) and Connolly (Colorectal Vascular, Urology, Gynaecology). Some of these posts are 50:50 sessional split with Beaumont, others have majority sessions in the “spoke” hospital.
During 2018, additional theatre capacity with the necessary staffing has been developed in Beaumont resulting in more capacity to deal with waiting lists in many surgical specialties. Therefore, less patients have been referred to Cavan for routine surgery. We continue to refer patients from Beaumont endoscopy waiting lists to Connolly and Cavan Hospitals.
Our highly trained consultants, returning from Fellowships abroad are understandably interested in working in level 4 teaching hospitals. The hub and spoke model provides locally based expertise for patient assessment and diagnosis, combined with access to a well-resourced level 4 hospital in the event of the need for complex surgery and care. The same “expert” can deliver routine care including no complex surgery in the local hospital.
Recruitment of consultants remains a significant challenge. Professor Frank Murray Director of the National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) Division of HSE, has recently nominated RCSI Hospital as a pilot site for recruitment of consultants at Group level. This is an exciting initiative, which gives us more flexibility and potentially speeds up the whole process of recruitment interviews and appointment.
RCSI Hospital welcome the publication of Sláintecare and its Implementation Report and supports its ambition of reform of the health system. Developing and enhancing Primary Care and Community Services to “unload” the Acute Hospital system makes sense but the strategy must also include necessary reforms of the Hospital system.
Close collaboration with our GP colleagues needs development in RCSI Hospital. To this end, a revised GP liaison group is being established with Dr Maria Wilson as Chair. Dr Wilson is also Chair of the Board of Governors of the Rotunda Hospital. GP representatives from practices around the various hospitals will be encouraged to get involved.
RCSI Hospital Group continues to develop the “Network” approach amongst our hospitals. Our constituent hospitals increasingly recognise the benefits of the interdependencies of one another. Through education, training, and leadership development in the Group, a greater understanding of the role of the Group is being propagated. This will allow for timely delivery of appropriate clinical services to our patients at the appropriate sites, which is the ultimate test of a “well-functioning hospital network”.