A clear governance and accountability framework was identified as a key building block of Sláintecare by the Committee on the Future of Healthcare. As part of its recommendations in this area, the Committee called for the HSE to become a more strategic and patient-focused ‘national centre’ carrying out national level functions, and the establishment of regional bodies with responsibility for the planning and delivery of integrated care at a regional level.
While the regions will have devolved responsibility for decision making, they will operate within a national framework, including national policies and strategies, such as the National Trauma Strategy and the National Cancer Strategy and national organisation of certain services such as national clinical programmes (such as cardiac services), our screening programmes and ambulance services.
The aim of the National Review of Specialised Cardiac Services is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive through establishing the requirements for an appropriate configuration of specialist cardiac services throughout Ireland. A Steering Group is leading this work and it will be in a position to confirm a completion date for the Review in September 2019.
As agreed by the Government, my Department will now progress the development of detailed policy proposals on reconfiguration of the HSE, including the establishment of regional health bodies, and bring these proposals (including timelines for the implementation of this reform) back to Government for approval next year.