Special Delivery Unit

The Special Delivery Unit works closely with Hospitals and Hospital Groups, the NTPF and the ED Taskforce to improve access to care for patients in our public hospitals.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Working with hospitals and Hospital Groups, to improve patient access for both Scheduled and Unscheduled Care, this includes:
  • Supporting and monitoring the implementation of the ED Taskforce recommendations
    Working together with HSE staff and clinical stakeholders to improve our services
  • Providing advice to help improve systems and processes in our hospitals

The SDU is centrally involved in a number of key initiatives, including:

Emergency Department Taskforce

The role of the Emergency Department Taskforce is to develop sustainable long-term solutions to ED overcrowding. The ED Taskforce Implementation Oversight Group is chaired, co chaired by Anne O Connor HSE Deputy Director General and Phil Ni Sheaghdha General Secretary Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). It includes representatives of the Hospital Groups, Department of Health, Patient Advocates, Staff Representatives Bodies and the HSE. The Minister for Health attends the Taskforce meetings. Updates from meetings are routinely published.

Emergency Department Taskforce


Urgent and Emergency Care

 To Read about Urgent and Emergency Care Click Here

The National Patient Flow Improvement Programme

This is a three year Programme jointly sponsored by the Acute Hospitals Division and Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division. The Programme is testing how operations management strategies can improve patient flow in our hospitals. It is currently underway in two hospital sites; University Hospital Galway and University Hospital Limerick.

 The Programme's aims are:

  • Improved Patient Flow
  • Improved patient access to health and social care
  • Improvements in quality and safety
  • Improved staff morale
  • Productivity and efficiency gains for health and social care providers
  • Better use of, access to and understanding of data
  • A National Team comprising key expertise and skills to effect sustainable improvements in patient flow on an ongoing basis


Winter Initiative

The Winter Plan includes a number of key actions in both our community and hospital services to ensure our healthcare system is best placed to respond to the expected increased pressure on our services throughout the winter.

 The Plan focuses on three key areas this winter

1.    Reducing the numbers of patients waiting to be discharged from hospital

2.    Patients access to the right treatment and care in the right place at the right time

3.    Keeping as many people as well as possible

 Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations have all developed their own Winter Plans. These plans focus on the community and hospital services working together throughout the country so that our patients receive the right care in the right place and at the right time.

Contact: Sonya Cotter, Interim Head of the Special Delivery Unit (SDU)
Performance Management and Improvement Unit.

Email: acutehospitals@hse.ie  Tel:01 6352000.