Hospital launches Health Ireland plan

By Brittany King

HEALTHY Ireland Implementation Plan 2018-2020 began at Tallaght Hospital on Thursday, October 19.

The plan, which was developed with the Hospitals and launched by the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG), sets out a three-year road map for improving the physical and mental health of staff, patients and the wider public.

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The implementation plan focuses on reducing the risk factors for chronic disease which puts a high demand on the health services.

The key actions to reduce these risk factors are quitting tobacco or alcohol; healthy eating and active living; wellbeing and mental health; healthy childhood; and positive ageing.

Seven hospitals from the group, including Tallaght Hospital, have implemented activities that support healthier lifestyles, such as providing services to help patients with smoking cessation, obesity management, physical activities, diabetes care, cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure, respiratory disease, dementia care, and promotion of breast feeding and maternity education programmes (in the hospitals providing maternity services).

Dr Susan O’Reilly, CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, said: “Healthy Ireland is a critical initiative in promoting the wellbeing of all our citizens...[and] the policies and plans contained within our Implementation Plan will give people the tools to do so.”

Tallaght Hospital are also promoting health and mental well-being through two new initiatives: One is the Tallaght Hospital Patient Connect app that facilitates a two-way communication between patients and their healthcare team members.

The other is a social prescribing project that links patients with non-medical sources of support within the community, which has been used as an intervention to reintegrate people who feel isolated and need support to re-join society.

Dr O’Reilly says they are confident they can implement and achieve the ambitious policies and objectives set out in this plan “with the participation, support and goodwill of [their] staff, patients and public alike.”

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