HSE Announces National Achievement Award Winners

30th April 2008

The HSE National Achievement Awards 2008 were awarded today in the Mansion House, Dublin.  These national awards follow four HSE Area finals and were awarded to staff for initiatives that are delivering better health services. The awards are sponsored by the Health Services National Partnership Forum. 

The CEO of the HSE, Professor Brendan Drumm, and Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher TD, Department of Health & Children presented awards. Ms Mary Davis, Chief Executive of Special Olympics Ireland, also spoke at the event.

The overall award winner was the Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, Health Promotion Department, HSE South. The service in Cork developed an education programme for people with Type 2 diabetes with a result that 90% of participating patients felt they had became healthier during the programme.

Professor Brendan Drumm emphasized –

 “Today is a really important day for staff working in the HSE and the hundreds of agencies funded by the HSE.

“The outstanding results being showcased here today in terms making access easier, delivering better quality care and making our resources go further are being mirrored right around the country.

“It is a day for us to recognise examples of the outstanding work that is being done by staff.

“It is a chance to tell people that their contribution is very important and greatly appreciated.

“It is a chance to highlight just some of the possibilities when people work together to focus their energies on solutions rather than problems.

“It is also a chance to encourage staff to intensify their commitment to modernising our health service and when the going gets difficult to stay focused on what we are all here to do.” 

The national winners are as follows:  


Reconfiguration, major changes to existing approaches    

Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, Health Promotion Department, HSE South - The X-PERT programme in Ireland.  

This education programme was developed in line with international best practice for people with Type 2 diabetes.  It was piloted in Charleville, Mallow and Skibbereen with 48 patients to give them access to a qualified dietician and education programme on healthy lifestyles.  As a result of the programme, there was no increase in patients’ prescribed diabetes medication during the programme; consumption of fruit almost doubled from 33% to 63% and there was an average weight reduction of 2.5kgs.  Every patient felt the use of personal health results, time spent on planning lifestyle changes and the availability of education sessions was important in managing their diabetes.  Nine out of 10 patients felt they became healthier during the programme.

Best improvement / best effort

Sligo General Hospital- Waste Matters in an Acute Setting. 
In early 2005 a new system of waste handling and control was introduced.  This resulted in a reduced amount of waste going to landfill with much of the waste being recycled and reused in line with best environmental guidelines.  Last year the new system resulted in the hospital receiving income for recycled goods in the past year.


St. Vincent's University Hospital – Neurology: changing the way we practice. 
Waiting times to see neurologists can be lengthy and patients often come through the Emergency Department route.  St. Vincent’s has changed the out-patient structure working with doctors, nurses and administrative staff to increase the number of out-patient sessions substantially.  The total number of patients seen per year has risen from 2936 in 2004 to 5290 in 2007 and the waiting time for new patients has fallen from one year to less than 10 weeks.

Adopting and adapting good practice

Cork University Hospital- Radiation Therapist-led Review Clinics in Radiation Therapy.
Patients undergoing radiation therapy experience side effects which are monitored daily by a radiation therapist and weekly by the medical team.  CUH has introduced two new weekly radiation review clinics which are managed by seven radiation therapists who have undergone additional training.  This has removed 40% of the workload from the medical team freeing them to see more patients and undertake more urgent reviews.  This new development has led to an increase in the average time spent with a patient; a reduction in clinic waiting times for patients; an increase in referral rates to other medical services and an increase in teamwork in the department.


Galway University Hospitals – Equality Project, Human Resources Department.  
Galway University Hospital has established a Diversity Steering Group to ensure that patients and staff are treated with dignity and respect for the diverse groups within the hospital.  There have been a number of equality and diversity initiatives carried out in the hospital including: Equality Open Day; Diversity training; disability awareness training; appointment of a designated equality officer; and many other initiatives.  The hospital has been recognised in the O2 National Ability Awards for the past three years as well as other awards and recognition from national bodies.

Category - LEADERSHIP AWARD           

First Heart Safe Schools in Ireland, Resuscitation Training, Portiuncula Hospital, Galway
Leadership is the key to successful achievements and the judges awarded this national award to an individual who “showed personal and professional leadership with courage, resilience and inclusiveness in delivering a magnificent community response”.  Helen Harney established the first Heart Safe School in Ireland and this has led to over 200 students and 81 teachers trained in CPR in the Ballinasloe area.  In addition 12 teachers have undergone Automatic External Defibrillator training, all of which is a major emergency resource to the local community.  The Irish Heart Foundation has awarded the two Ballinasloe secondary schools (Ardscoil Mhuire and St Joseph’s College) the Heart Safe School award – a first for Ireland.  


(Overall National Winner 2007/08 from the Better Place to Work and Better Service Awards)

Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, Health Promotion Department, HSE South  - The X-PERT programme in Ireland.


Overall Winner
National Hospital Office, Dublin Mid Leinster, Ambulance Headquarters, Tullamore

National Hospitals Office Category
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital           

Primary, Community and Continuing Care Category
St. Joseph’s Care Centre, Longford

Support Services Category
Merlin Park, Galway, Support Services West Financial Systems



A brochure with full details of all the participating projects is below

For Further Information contact:
Alex Connolly, Head of HSE Press and Media Relations
01 635 2840 087 6184450 alex.connolly@hse.ie

Last updated on: 01 / 05 / 2008