HSE Service Plan 2015

ICO welcomes €1m budget commitment for continued support of Eye Care Services

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) has welcomed the inclusion of a €1 million budget allocation towards the implementation of the recommendations set out by the Primary Care Eye Services Review Group, which is contained in the HSE National Service Plan 2015, announced last Thursday (November 27th, 2014).

The ICO has said the allocation of funds provides further assurance that a real commitment exists by Government to improve primary care eye services and to reduce, through timely and appropriate medical intervention, the incidence of preventable causes of vision impairment in Ireland.

The National Service Plan for 2015, as required under legislation, sets out the type and volume of services, which will be provided across the health services within the funding allocated by Government and takes into consideration quality improvement and patient safety, reform of the health services and the quantum of services to be provided.

National Clinical Programme for Eye Care and Review Group

Thirty three National Clinical Programmes (NCP), including Ophthalmology, have been developed by the HSE with the aim of improving and standardising patient care by bringing together clinical disciplines and enabling them to share innovative solutions to deliver greater benefits to patients. The Clinical Programmes are central to the transformation underway across the health services.  

The NCP for Eye Care has been tasked with reviewing the current delivery of eye services in Ireland and developing a plan for the future delivery of care.  Within that design of the model of care for service delivery, the Programme aims to develop care pathways and referral protocols for the treatment of the main eye conditions in Ireland.

The Primary Care Division convened a Primary Care Eye Services Review Group (PCESRG) in August 2014 to review all primary care eye services.  ICO representatives sit on the Review Group, together with representatives from various HSE departments including the Primary Care Reimbursement Scheme, Public Health, Directors of Nursing and orthoptists.

The role of the Group is to examine and document the primary care eye services currently provided to children and adults nationwide including HSE directly provided services and contracted primary care services and to determine the needs of the population for these services. The group is also tasked with reviewing the current service in terms of quality, safety and consistency and identifying issues for action throughout 2015-2016.

The evaluation process aims to provide a clear blueprint with recommendations for the delivery of primary care eye services which will ensure a high quality, safe and consistent service for patients.  A priority is to focus on an action plan to address immediate primary care paediatric eye services issues in the Dublin area.

The development of primary care services is a key element of the overall Health Reform programme. The core objective is to achieve a more balanced health service by ensuring that the vast majority of patients and clients who require urgent or planned care are managed within primary and community based settings, while ensuring that services are:

  • Safe and of the highest quality
  • Responsive and accessible to patients and clients
  • Highly efficient and represent good value for money
  • Well integrated and aligned with the relevant specialist services

Read the full HSE Service Plan 2015 PDF

1st December 2014