Healthy Ireland

Dublin Midlands Hospital Group launches plan to promote healthier lifestyles for its staff and patients

  • Implementation Plan provides a roadmap to a healthier society for all
  • Encourages staff to “Make Every Contact Count” for healthier lifestyles
  • Highlights the ground swell support for Healthy Ireland already underway across the 7 hospital sites

Wednesday, 18 October The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group launched its Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan 2018 -2020. The Plan sets out the Group’s three-year road map for improving the physical and mental health of staff, patients and wider public over the coming years. DMHG’s plan follows the roll-out of the national HSE Healthy Ireland Plan, which was published in July 2015.

DMHG’s Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan supports the implementation of the three overarching strategic priorities in that plan. It focuses on reducing the risk factors for chronic disease which puts a high demand on the health services. This plan identifies the key role that the DMHG can play in reducing chronic disease and focuses on prevention and healthy lifestyles. Key tangible actions to reduce these risk factors are identified for:

  • Tobacco;
  • Alcohol;
  • Healthy Eating & Active Living;
  • Wellbeing and Mental Health;
  • Healthy Childhood; and
  • Positive Ageing.  

DMHG started working on the development of its Healthy Ireland Plan in the autumn of 2016. Alongside this activity, each hospital completed questionnaires on the infrastructure and activities which exist within the Group’s seven hospitals to support the rollout of Healthy Ireland.

Already, the group’s hospitals have implemented activities that support healthier lifestyles.  The seven hospitals in the group provide services to help patients with smoking cessation, obesity management, physical activity, diabetes care, cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure, respiratory disease, promotion of breast feeding and maternity education programmes (in the hospitals providing maternity services) and dementia care.

The plan seeks to build on these activities and others that support staff, including developing their capacity to implement the Healthy Ireland actions for themselves, their patients, their families and communities. Priority areas include:

Delivering excellent standards of quality in all the Healthy Ireland action areas;
Developing integrated care between DMHG hospitals and their communities to ensure Healthy Ireland actions are integrated in patient care pathways;
Strengthening Healthy Ireland co-operation and communication between DMHG hospitals;

Dr Susan O’Reilly, CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, said:

“Healthy Ireland is a critical initiative in promoting the wellbeing of all our citizens. As a Group with a catchment of over 800,000 people, in addition to the approximately 11,000 staff who work across our hospitals, we have a huge opportunity to empower the people we care for each day to improve their own health and wellbeing. The policies and plans contained within our Implementation Plan will give people the tools to do so.

Helping our staff to lead healthier lives is also a key focus of our Plan, not least because we strongly believe that those who work in healthcare can effect change by making every contact count.  As a Group we are extremely focused on implementing and achieving the ambitious policies and objectives set out in this Plan. We are confident that we can do so with the participation, support and goodwill of our staff, patient and public alike”, added Dr. O’Reilly.

Dr Áine Carroll, National Director for Clinical Strategy and Programmes said:

“The launch of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group plan represents a further milestone in the roll-out of the HSE’s national implementation plan’ Healthy Ireland in the Health Services’ and follows the development of plans by Saolta, UL, RCSI and Ireland East Hospital Groups. 

This Plan reflects on the fact that our services and our healthcare teams have enormous potential to influence the health and wellbeing of the people for whom we provide care and support. As well as being focused day to day on the challenge of providing high quality safe services, the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group through this plan is focusing on the future and the challenge we face in terms of unsustainable healthcare costs driven by rising levels of chronic disease.  I commend their commitment to build on the opportunity to Make Every Contact Count to improve the health and wellbeing of the population it serves making it a profound agent of change.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drug Strategy, Catherine Byrne stated:

"We know that the growth of chronic conditions over the coming years point to a problematic and costly future for the health services.  It is essential that these problems are addressed now.

In order to make health and wellbeing everyone’s responsibility, the health sector, all of you here today, and all your colleagues in the hospitals in the Dublin Midlands Group, have a key role to play in sharing the message of Healthy Ireland."