The Report on the establishment of Hospital Groups which I launched on the 14th May is the most radical and most fundamental modernisation of our health system infrastructure since the State’s foundation. To achieve the most effective high quality outcomes for patients in the most cost efficient manner possible, the reform of the structures and governance for the delivery of hospital services is vital now.
The formation of Irish acute hospitals into a small number of groups, each with its own governance and management, will provide an optimum configuration for hospital services to deliver high-quality, safe patient care in a cost-effective manner. In the longer term, each group's viability and future prosperity will be realised by its ability to deliver a comprehensive range of services across the group.
The reorganisation of services within Hospital Groups will be a matter, in the first instance, for the CEOs and group management. Within one year of the formation of Hospital Groups, each individual group will be required to submit a strategic plan which will outline its plans for future services within the group area. These strategic plans will determine the way services are provided within each group.
These plans and their subsequent implementation will then be rigorously reviewed, including all necessary due diligence checks, to see whether they are in a position to advance to Hospital Trust status after the necessary legislation is put in place (which is planned for 2015).