HSE to introduce new Health Regions from February 2024
The HSE is to undergo restructuring next year as it splits into six new HSE Health Regions. The Health Regions, which will commence in February 2024, aims to deliver universal and integrated care for people, providing them with timely access to the care they need, when they need it. Each Health Region will have responsibility for the planning and coordinated delivery of health and social care services within their respective defined geographies. This change is in line with the Sláintecare vision of an integrated health and social care service.
In July 2023, the Government approved the HSE Health Regions Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan sets out a high-level programme of work with objectives, critical actions, and timelines to transition to the six Health Regions.
New HSE Health Regions Geographical Areas
Currently, the HSE is structured into six hospital groups, and nine Community Health Organisations (CHOs). Under the new structure, there will be six Health Regions who will be responsible for delivering both hospital and community care to the defined geographies, as shown below.
- HSE West and North West
- HSE Dublin and North East
- HSE Dublin and Midlands
- HSE Midwest
- HSE Dublin and South East
- HSE South West
The HSE Health Regions Implementation Plan states that the Regional Executive Officers (REOs) will be accountable and responsible for regional health and social care services. REOs will report directly to the HSE CEO on the operation and management of the Health Regions.
The HSE Centre will have responsibility and accountability for ensuring that nationally consistent standards, guidelines, and models of care are developed in a way that is collaborative with Health Regions and that appropriate supports are available to Health Regions. The HSE Centre will also oversee the delivery of nationally delivered clinical and supporting services.
The Department of Health (DoH) will be responsible for setting health policy and strategy, oversee the distribution of Government funding to health and social care services and will retain an oversight role in ensuring that health service activities are carried out in line with overall Government priorities, and their role in overseeing public investment.
Key Actions in 2023/2024
The HSE Health Regions Implementation Plan groups the key actions for 2023 under four themes: 1) Leadership, Vision, and People; 2) Model of Integrated Care and Healthcare Governance; 3) Planning and Finance; and 4) Infrastructure, including Capital, ICT and Supports.
- Leadership, Vision, and People: Actions include the establishment of the HSE Health Regions including defining the structures, roles and responsibilities and the recruitment of the REOs, the reform of the HSE centre, the associated departmental reform and engagement with relevant stakeholders.
- Model of Integrated Care and Healthcare Governance: Actions include finalising the integrated service delivery model for Health Regions, clearly define the roles and responsibilities, develop a framework for conducting health needs assessments, agree performance management metrics and measures, update HSE Code of Governance and agree Health Regions governance approach and partnership arrangements for non-HSE providers.
- Planning and Finance: Actions include the approval of a revised process for service plans, establish a Population-Based Resource Allocation (PBRA) Expert Group and approve the revised process for HSE corporate plans.
- Infrastructure, including Capital, ICT and Supports: Actions include defining the critical Digital and ICT requirements for Health Regions, agree future approach to business functions, establish a Capital Approach including capital funding arrangements, capital planning, procurement and deliver of capital projects and management of estates and assets, review physical infrastructure needs of each Health Region and identify physical location of Health Region headquarters.
Published in July, this plan outlines the high-level programme of work for 2023, with a view to establishing Health Regions from 1 February 2024.
Click here to view the HSE Health Regions Implementation Plan.
How can HCI help?
The six new HSE Health Regions will ensure the geographical alignment of hospital and community healthcare services at a regional level, based on defined populations and their local needs. Health Regions also aim to empower local decision-making and support population-based service planning. It is crucial that an effective Quality and Safety Management System (QSMS) is implemented within each region. This will provide the necessary framework for clinical governance, quality improvement, patient safety, risk management, audit, national standards and regulatory compliance.
At HCI, we help providers of health and social care make intelligence driven decisions to attain, manage and improve quality, safety and regulatory compliance. We have supported a wide variety of health and social care organisations to build quality and safety management systems that fulfil the requirements of HIQA, the Mental Health Commission, Joint Commission International (JCI) and CHKS. We offer a complete service from the initial QSMS review right through to the development of a best practice QSMS. We can also provide ongoing, independent quality assurance of the QSMS through our Quality of Care Audit Programme.
If you would like any further information, please contact HCI on 01 629 2559 or email@example.com.