Annual Report: RCSI Hospital Group Healthy Ireland Initiatives

In October 2016 the RCSI Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan 2016-2019 was launched by Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion.

All Hospitals in the RCSI Hospitals Group had Healthy Ireland teams and committees in place in 2016.

Through these teams and committees, and in partnership with the National Healthy programme, the RCSI Group Implementation Plan was developed.

The plan prioritised 3 areas to achieve maximum impact on patients and staff in positively by influencing their lifestyles to generate a happier and healthier population and workforce:

  • reducing the burden of chronic disease (3 out of 4 of our patients in Hospital beds have a chronic disease as their primary reason for admission – 78.2%)
  • improving breastfeeding rates in 3 Maternity services – births per annum 13,544 in 2015
  • improving staff health and general wellbeing

The RCSI Group Implementation Plan clearly sets out actions for each Hospital to complete over the next two years, providing a framework for each site to utilise. This ensures the implementation of a Healthy Ireland Plan in each site within the RCSI Hospital Group.

Key Patient & Staff Healthy Ireland 2016 initiatives and programmes undertaken in 2016:

  • a continuous focus on Breast Feeding Rates in all three Maternity Hospitals delivered an increase of between 2 – 5 % from 2015.
  • Chronic Illness Sub Groups were established across all sites to assist in empowering patients to self-care and fully utilise all available supports such as: Cardiac & COPD Rehab, X-PERT Diabetes programmes, Healthy Cooking, AA, weight management programmes & Bereavement support groups/services programme. Cavan General Hospital became the third hospital in the Group to provide The DAPHE Diabetes Type 1 self-care programme supported by the Diabetes Clinical Programme.
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (Stanford University Model) led by Dr. Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh, Clinical Psychologist and Mary Forry, IBS CNS, continued in Beaumont Hospital. The Beaumont team supported a training programme for staff in Connolly Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in preparation for delivery of some of these programmes on site in 2017.
  • Calorie Posting is in progress in all canteens and restaurants across all sites with two Hospitals having achieved full Calorie Posting
  • there was progress in all Hospital sites in implementing Healthier Vending machines i.e. having healthy options on offer in all vending machines. Three sites were fully compliant by year end.
  • Staff Physical Activity Programmes were run in all sites, which saw over 500 staff throughout the Group involved in Operation Transformation 2016, with walking clubs & pedometer challenges, and other activities.
  • the well-established staff choirs in Beaumont and Cavan continued to flourish and a new staff choir was established in Rotunda Hospital.