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CHOs to link with varying Hospital Groups

08 Sep 2015

Work to enable “interfaces” between new health structures is under way in the HSE. Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) structures, meant to meet the maximum proportion of people’s care needs in the communities where they live and to achieve joined-up, integrated services, became effective in January 2015.

It is envisaged that the principal day-to-day linkages at clinical and patient level will be between the primary care networks and the relevant service within the Hospital Group, the Department of Health said.

There will also be significant inter-Hospital Group interfaces for certain national services and it is envisaged that individual CHOs will interface with hospitals from more than one Hospital Group, Minister of State in the Department Kathleen Lynch has said in response to Dáil questioning by Fine Gael Deputy Fergus O’Dowd.

Seven Hospital Groups have been set up on a non-statutory administrative basis, and the HSE in October 2014 launched a report, which sets out plans for a comprehensive reorganisation of health services outside the acute hospital system into nine CHOs.

In determining the optimum organisational model for the CHOs, the HSE identified a requirement for integration between the different parts of the community healthcare services; between community healthcare services and acute hospitals; with wider public service organisations such as local authorities, the Child and Family Agency (Tusla), the education sector and An Garda Síochána, and with local voluntary organisations.

The option selected was deemed the most appropriate on the basis that it “met a key requirement of linking primary care teams and networks with acute hospitals; it provided a strong basis for linkage with local author-ity boundaries and it struck an appropriate balance bet-ween an organisation of sufficiently large scale to support organisation and business capability, while at the same time being of sufficiently small scale to provide the local community connection and response required to deliver integrated care,” said the Minister.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times