The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group's (DMHG) management lists 'open honest communication' and 'openness and transparency' as its values in its new five year strategy.
The DMHG outlines its Mission, Vision and Values in the draft report of its plan to remove A&E from the Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise. The plan also covers hospitals: Tullamore, Naas, Tallaght, St James', The Coombe and St Lukes.
One DMHG value is to "build trust through openness and transparency" while another is to "communicate openly and honestly and in a timely and appropriate manner".
The group's chief executive Dr Susan O'Reilly has declined invitations to come to Laois to meet the public and its representatives to discuss the future of Portlaoise hospital. Laois TD and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan asked that she visit in 2016.
The DMHG has been asked in the Dáil, by Laois County Council, by doctors, by media and the public to release its plan for Portlaoise hospital. It has also declined.
It has also refused to comment on the strategy which was leaked to Laois TD Brian Stanley. It has so far declined to say if a meeting of hospital managers signed off on the strategy last week.
The DMHG says more than 800,000 patients used hospitals it oversees in 2016. The hospitals spent more than €1 billion in 2016. It claims its "fundamental characteristic" is that it is "focused on serving the patient by improving access and ensuring the most appropriate care is provided by the right people and in the right location".
"In developing the strategy we acknowledge the need to listen to the needs of patients and learn from their experiences so future care is improved," said the strategy.
The DMHG plan refers to report Towards 2026: A Future Direction for Irish Healthcare. The DMHG says that plan calls for radical change that requires building healthcare around patients. the DMHG says Towards 2026 proposes putting the patient at the centre of how services are designed, organised and delivered.
"We are committed to supporting our hospitals to deliver quality care which is built around the patient and the philosophy of partnership," said the report.
The DMHG also wants to establish a Group Patient Forum to "focus on collaboration and partnership to support the Group change agenda".
The following are the DMHG's Values
Patient Safety first.
• Build trust through openness and transparency.
• Communicate openly and honestly and in a timely and appropriate manner.
• Treat everyone with respect and compassion.
• Empower patients to participate in their care through education and communication.
• Commit to education, research and innovation as an integral component of patient care and staff development.
• Be responsible and accountable for use of resources in the pursuit of effective delivery of healthcare.
The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group is committed to providing high quality, sustainable health care in the most appropriate healthcare setting.
Delivering excellent clinical care through patient centric services and supporting innovation for our patients and staff.
The following principles and priorities have been identified by the group.
Strongly support a culture of honesty and transparency in dealing with patients.
• Patients will be treated with respect and dignity at all times. We must continually strive to achieve these behaviours and model them in all of our interactions and provide educational opportunities to foster these behaviours.
• To address expectations, all communication with patients/ carers and other healthcare providers must ensure clarity
in relation to the treatment plan and relevant follow up.
• Where a patient experiences a poor outcome prompt open disclosure is a mandatory requirement for communication
with the patient and/or family.
• Healthcare professionals must partner with their patients to be open about their medical needs and to ensure collaborative,
informed decision making.
• Establish a Group Patient Forum with a focus on collaboration and partnership to support the Group change agenda.
• Improve the Group feedback opportunities by enhancing the HSE Your Service Your Say process and supporting hospitals
to demonstrate improvements with the ‘You said we did’ patient feedback loop.
• Prioritise advocacy and hospital engagement with patient advocacy organisations.
• To continue to provide multidisciplinary educational programmes which foster openness and confidence in communications with and between patients and staff, e.g. CBAS.