Thursday, 10 October 2019
Department of Health
The National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services commenced in January 2018 under the Chairmanship of Professor Phillip Nolan and a Steering Group was formed from nominations from interested stakeholders representing medical, professional/technical staff, nursing and patient representatives. The aim of the Review is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive by establishing the need for an optimal configuration of a national adult cardiac service. 13 Steering Group meetings have taken place with a further two meetings scheduled to take place this year. A large volume of its work has been completed.
To date the National Review has completed a public consultation survey, collated and analysed information on activity levels in each of the Hospital Groups and all hospitals within each Group. A successful and well attended stakeholder consultation was held in November 2018. The Health Research Board - Collaboration in Ireland for Clinical Effectiveness Reviews (HRB-CICER) has completed an Evidence Review of Specialist Cardiac Services looking at (i) international standards for PCI centres (ii) international models that might be applicable to the Irish Healthcare system and (iii) the relationship between volume and patient outcomes for PCI. The Evidence Review has provided important guidance for the Steering Group thus far and arising from discussions at the Steering Group they have been asked to complete one additional evidence review question. Site visits to Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) centres commenced earlier this year and will be complete this month. These site visits have included meetings with stakeholders in clinical, administrative, nursing and allied health professional roles. In addition two international site visits are being planned to review and benchmark against established cardiology networks.
An additional workstream is being undertaken by the Health Intelligence Unit of the HSE with regards to Geospatial analysis and mapping of networks of cardiac services from a national perspective.
The Chair is targeting that the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services will be completed before the end of the year and I would expect to be informed of any change to that timeline.