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The HSE recently advertised for six Improvement Leads to be assigned to Hospital Groups in order to drive “process improvements” and to support hospitals in meeting waiting list targets.
The interview stage has been completed for the posts and a panel is now in place. The successful candidates are currently awaiting formal communication from the National Recruitment Service. It is anticipated that an SDU Improvement Lead will be assigned to the Hospital Groups in early 2017.
“It will give the SDU more coverage on the ground. It will give the SDU more capacity to spend time with more hospitals to both support and monitor support in the emergency departments particularly,” Mr Woods told MI at the recent launch of the HSE National Service Plan 2017.
In recent years, the SDU’s remit in the role of reducing waiting lists diminished, but the future prospects of the unit changed with the appointment of Minister for Health Simon Harris, who sees it as a vital part in improving patient flow in hospitals.
“We are committed to both sustaining and developing the SDU during the course of 2017,” said Mr Woods.
“We will be doing a plan, which doesn’t exist yet, for 2017 in terms of what resource we need to provide, and in essence we will need to resource the SDU to the extent that it needs to be resourced to make sure we can get the best we can in the hospital environment by way of trolley numbers and emergency department management.”