Message from the Chief Executive Officer, UL Hospitals

Colette Cowan, Chief Executive Officer, UL HospitalsEvery day, UL Hospitals Group strives to be a valued, trusted and leading provider of excellence in healthcare. Our vision is to continue building upon this so that we are patient-centred, clinically-integrated, team-based and research-driven. This 2018 – 2022 Corporate Strategy provides the roadmap to work significantly towards that vision.

Our aim at UL Hospitals Group has always been focussed on delivering timely access to high quality safe care. We recognise that new challenges will emerge upon pursuit of this goal and over the lifetime of this strategy. We have used this strategic planning process to consider: the needs and expectations of the people we serve, the environment in which we work, and our role and responsibility to build a better health service for the Mid-West and Ireland.

Demand for health services through the Hospital Group continues to grow each year. The number of older persons (65 years and over) will double in the Mid-West between now and 2031. Our services need to be designed and equipped to meet this demand. On that basis, a significant priority for the Hospital Group remains on clinical transformation. Clinical transformation has a two-fold focus for us. Firstly, it involves ensuring that all clinical sites in the group have a distinct role and function within the Group and that this works to the strengths of each site. Secondly, we are wholly committed to progressing integrated care further with our primary and community care partners. This will support us to deliver services as close to the patient as possible without ever compromising on quality or patient safety.

Our Hospital Group will embrace new relationships and partnerships over the course of this strategic plan. This is not just necessary to drive our transformation agenda, but is integral to the growth of the Hospital Group and the achievement of our vision. We will work with patients, service users and service providers as the norm to ensure that the care models we introduce remove the boundaries that continue to exist between different types of provider. Fostering stronger forms of collaboration with our partners, including those beyond traditional hospital-partner models is a personal focus of mine during the lifetime of this strategic plan. Together, we will achieve more.

We share the ambition of our primary academic partner, the University of Limerick, to develop a leading Irish Academic Health Science Centre and look forward to collaborating further on a range of associated initiatives. Our commitment to research, education and innovation must continually evolve. The staff at UL Hospitals Group and the people we serve will demand so.

This strategy has been developed in full recognition of the vital role the staff of UL Hospitals Group have regarding the future implementation process. Our over-riding commitment is to value and develop our workforce to deliver the best possible care and services to the people who depend on them. We will continue to strive to become an employer of choice within the Mid-West, the Irish healthcare landscape, and beyond.

Significant strides have been made by UL Hospitals Group in recent years regarding the development and adoption of digital healthcare systems. The Irish healthcare system is on the cusp of an exciting chapter of IT adoption and digitisation in general. We want to lead the writing of key paragraphs of this chapter and continue to set the foundations for a digital hospital group.

The development of Working Together, Caring for the Mid-West 2018 – 2022 involved a significant level of preparation, planning, and support from a number of colleagues. I would like to acknowledge all those who were involved in the development phase and wish in particular to thank those of you who actively participated in consultation commitments.

I am confident that we have the map to guide us through the next phase of the strategic development of UL Hospitals Group. Together we will implement this and build that better health service for the Mid-West.

Prof Colette Cowan Chief Executive Officer UL Hospitals Group