Six health service projects win excellence awards

The Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards aim to showcase and celebrate public service projects that make a particular difference to the way the citizen can avail of services, writes Maureen Browne.

A total of six health service projects received awards at the Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards.  An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen, presented the awards at a special conference and reception in Dublin Castle.

The biannual Awards aim to showcase and celebrate public service projects that make a particular difference to the way the citizen can avail of services.  The Awards promote innovation and excellence.  The creative use of resources and the development of new efficiencies are typical hallmarks of successful entries.

Of the twenty Awards presented, the six health service winning projects included acute hospital and community care projects, a nurse prescribing project and online services which showcase the diverse range of services delivered by health service staff across the country.

The successful health service projects are:

Independent Nurse and Midwife Medicinal Product Prescribing.
Dr. Siobhan O’Halloran, HSE Nursing Services Director receives the award for “Medical Product Prescribing from An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D.
Dr. Siobhan O’Halloran, HSE Nursing Services Director receives the award for “Medical Product Prescribing from An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D.

A project by the HSE to facilitate medicinal product prescribing by nurses and midwives.
In order to prescribe, a nurse or midwife must have more than three years experience, have successfully completed the dedicated course on nurse and midwife prescribing and must be registered with An Bord Altranais as a Registered Nurse Prescriber (RNP). The first independent evaluation report into the Nurse & Midwife Prescribing found that the first phase of Nurse and Midwife Prescribing has been successful and is of benefit to patients and staff across the healthcare system. There are 186 nurses and midwives throughout the country who have completed the education requirement and the registration process with An Bord Altranais, and are actively prescribing medicinal products in clinical practice areas.
Dr. Síobhán O’Halloran, Nursing Services Director, HSE.

Certificates.ie
Mr. Denis Prior, Superintendent Registrar of the Civil Registration Service in the HSE receives the award for “Certificates.ie” from An Taoiseach.
Mr. Denis Prior, Superintendent Registrar of the Civil Registration Service in the HSE receives the award for “Certificates.ie” from An Taoiseach.

This website was launched in November 2009 and enables clients to purchase certificates of birth, adoption, death, stillbirth and marriage online from any internet connection in Ireland or abroad.  The new website also makes it easier for adopted persons and parents of stillborn children to purchase their certificates online like all other customers, rather than apply separately to the General Register Office (GRO) who hold these registers.  This new facility will alleviate any unnecessary upset caused to customers due to the separation of the registers.
Mr. Dennis Prior, Superintendent Registrar of the Civil Registration Service, HSE

‘Bridging the Gap’ Intermediate Care Service County Roscommon.
Ms. Marie Gunning of HSE West receives the award for the “Bridging The Gap “project from An Taoiseach.
Ms. Marie Gunning of HSE West receives the award for the “Bridging The Gap “project from An Taoiseach.

The ‘Bridging the Gap’ Intermediate Care Service is a short-term service provided, in the patient’s own home, by a multi-disciplinary team for those who need help to recover from an illness or an injury.  The multi-disciplinary team comprises a manager, nurses, physiotherapist, home helps, occupational therapist and secretary.  A 2009 survey of clients showed that 92% were very satisfied with the Intermediate Care Service, with 94% expressing improvement in their quality of life through the intervention of the service.  Clients highlighted the importance of being able to stay in their own home, their personal satisfaction in regaining independence, greater confidence, increased functional mobility, empowerment, motivation and encouragement in social interaction in the community.
Ms. Marie Gunning of HSE West

Sexual Assault Care – A project by the HSE to develop care and services for patients who disclose recent rape or sexual assault.
Ms. Ann McHugh from the HSE receives the award for “Sexual Assault Care” from an Taoiseach.
Ms. Ann McHugh from the HSE receives the award for “Sexual Assault Care” from an Taoiseach.

The project was developed by staff in Letterkenny General Hospital, with the aim of providing an appropriate environment for treatment of patients who disclose recent rape or sexual assault, meeting staff educational needs, addressing guidelines for practice and ensuring the provision of a dedicated service.
Ms. Anne McHugh, HSE

Let someone know- a mental health campaign, HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention.
Mr. Geoff Day, Director of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention receives the award for “Let Someone Know” from An Taoiseach.
Mr. Geoff Day, Director of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention receives the award for “Let Someone Know” from An Taoiseach.

This project is to promote awareness of mental health issues and to encourage young people to talk about their problems.  “Reach Out” – the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention – sets out 26 action areas to address the tragedy of suicide.  Of these, action area 10 aims to reduce stigma and promote mental health. This has been initiated through a general awareness campaign started in 2007 using TV/radio advertising, a dedicated Bebo page, outdoor advertising and production of a booklet “Your Mental Health”.  Also, www.letsomeoneknow.ie was developed and supported by a new Bebo page, mobile phone contact, TV, cinema and outdoor advertising in youth-friendly locations. A number of voluntary organisations are also “co-branding” with the HSE to reinforce the ‘Let Someone Know’ message.
Mr. Geoff Day, Director, HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention

Informing Families of their Child’s Disability – Best Practice Guidelines: The Cork Implementation Project.
Prof Jonathan Hourihane of Cork University Hospital receives the award for “Communicating Sensitive Information” from An Taoiseach
Prof Jonathan Hourihane of Cork University Hospital receives the award for “Communicating Sensitive Information” from An Taoiseach

This project developed guidelines and practices for the disclosure to parents of their child’s disability.  The guidelines help professionals and staff to impart the information clearly and effectively in supportive and sensitive ways.  This helps to support families who have difficulties in coming to terms with the news.  The aim was to deliver the news in more humane and supportive ways, in order to reduce stress for parents/families.  It also serves to minimise the risk of litigation that can sometimes occur if disclosure is badly handled.
Professor Jonathan Hourihane, Cork University Hospital

The Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards are organised as part of the Transforming Public Services (TPS) programme. One of the central aims of the TPS programme is to ensure that the citizen – the customer – is at the centre of the Public Service. Further information on the Transforming Public Services programme is available at www.onegov.ie.