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Latest health regions updates

We are currently transitioning to the new health regions structure. This page provides the latest information about the changes happening throughout the year.

In this latest update, we share progress on:

Health regions

Regional Executive Officers

Regional Executive Officers (REOs) are accountable and responsible for the operational service delivery within their respective regions. They report directly to the CEO.

All 6 REOs are now in place and have assumed responsibility for their regions.

The REOs are:

  • Sara Long, REO, HSE Dublin and North East
  • Kate Killeen White, REO, HSE Dublin and Midlands
  • Martina Queally, REO, HSE Dublin and South East
  • Sandra Broderick, REO, HSE Mid West
  • Dr Andy Phillips, REO, HSE South West
  • Tony Canavan, REO, HSE West and North West

Learn more about the REOs for the 6 health regions

Integrated Healthcare Areas (IHAs)

IHAs will be the substructures within each health region. There will be 20 IHAs in total. They will serve a population of around 300,000 and will take account of local geographies, population size, needs and services.

IHAs will bring together both acute and community services as well as other non-HSE providers. This will be crucial to supporting and enabling integrated care.

IHA managers

Recruitment is now underway for IHA managers. The IHA managers will be responsible for operational service delivery within each IHA. They will sit on the health region’s Executive Management Team (EMT).

Details of the IHA areas will be shared in the coming weeks, once approved.

View the high-level IHA structure (PDF, 112KB, 1 page)

Learn more about the IHA manager roles

Integrated care

The new health region structures will support and strengthen integrated care. This includes integration between:

  • primary care and community services, including GPs, pharmacies and voluntary organisations
  • acute hospitals and community services
  • the HSE and wider public service organisations, such as local authorities

While structural change alone will not deliver integrated care, it will clarify roles and responsibilities at all levels of the organisation. It will create the conditions for more integrated working.

Learn more about why we’re integrating health and social care services

Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) model

The health regions programme team has started to progress the detailed design of the ISD model. This will include structures, processes and ways of working. It will build on the design work undertaken in 2023 and involve engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

HSE Centre

Senior Leadership Team

The HSE Centre will operate as the HSE's governing body, with a newly-defined relationship with the health regions. The purpose of the HSE Centre will be to support health regions to fulfill the functions of Planning, Enablement, Performance and Assurance (PEPA).

The HSE Senior Leadership Team will include the 6 Regional Executive Officers (REOs) and national directors for the following areas:

  • National services and schemes
  • Access and integration
  • Clinical
  • People
  • Finance
  • Technology and transformation
  • Communications and public affairs
  • Strategic infrastructure and capital delivery
  • Internal audit

Recruitment is ongoing for 2 national director roles; access and integration and strategic infrastructure and capital delivery. National directors have been appointed for all of the other areas.

New HSE Centre structure with appointed national directors (PDF, 112 KB, 1 page)

CEO memo about HSE Centre changes issued on 9 February 2024 (PDF, 170 KB, 7 pages)

Transition to the new structures

We are currently in a transition period as we move to the new structures, both at HSE Centre and across health regions. During this time, current systems will remain in place to ensure safe transition and to maintain services.

The target date for full completion of the following changes in structures and assignments is 30 September 2024.

The Health Region Programme Steering Group meets monthly to oversee and support the transition to, and implementation of, health regions. The group membership includes:

  • REOs
  • national directors
  • patient and service user representatives
  • representatives from partner and voluntary agencies

People

People transition planning

HR will lead on people transition activities. They will also provide guidance to health regions and the HSE Centre throughout the period of transition.

Many staff will have questions about when changes will happen, why they are happening and who will be affected.

National HR has developed a staff ‘Q and A’ document to address questions about the transition to health regions.

Read HSE Health Regions questions and answers on HR-related matters and transition (PDF, 466 KB, 11 pages)

HR will continue to engage directly with staff and their representative organisations through each stage of the process.

Staff transition arrangements

For a large percentage of staff, there will be no significant change as we transition to health regions, apart from perhaps a change in the person to whom they report.

It is important to note the reform programme is not an attempt to downsize the HSE. There will be a meaningful role for everyone in the new structures.

Safe transitioning will require a phased approach over the coming months to maintain services, both at HSE Centre and across health regions.

Phase 1 (before 1 June 2024) involves mapping all roles and activities from the current structure to the new HSE Centre and regional structures.

The level of change that staff experience will depend on the position they hold. Some staff may be asked to report to a different national director until further transitional arrangements are completed.

Phase 2 (from 1 June) will continue over the summer months. This will allow the new national directors to input on the further work required. It will also involve recruiting regional leadership roles.

Any changes to current roles and responsibilities will be communicated through line managers. Staff should continue with their usual tasks and responsibilities in the meantime. This is important in maintaining service delivery.

Staff transition arrangements will include:

  • making changes in line with the new CEO Centre design published by the CEO (PDF, 170 KB, 7 pages)
  • supporting the REOs in setting up the health regions in the short term and the new Executive Management Team (EMT) structures over the coming months
  • moving hospital group and CHO teams to the new health region EMT and IHA management structures
  • ongoing engagement with staff representative groups via the National Joint Council and other staff representative engagements

Staff transition principles

The move from the current structure to the new HSE Centre and health regions will be achieved through:

  • confined competitions
  • some promotional opportunities
  • redeployment

One of the key principles (agreed by government) is that the revised structures and transition approach must be achieved within current resources. This means Whole Time Equivalent [WTE] neutral and grade neutral.

Next steps

Next steps as we continue this transition include:

  • fulfilling direct reports of the CEO and REOs, prioritising the recruitment of national directors and health region EMTs
  • fulfilling other roles on a function-by-function basis, including IHA manager and regional leadership roles
  • keeping some current systems in place to make sure we transition safely and always maintain services to ensure minimal disruption to patients and service users
  • aiming to complete these changes by 30 September 2024

Read HR Memo ‘Update No.2 to Line Manager on approach to Staff Transition’ issued on 2 May 2024 (PDF, 175 KB, 4 pages)

Read HR Memo ‘Update to Line Managers on approach to Staff Transition’ issued on 27 March 2024 (PDF, 105 KB, 4 pages)

Regional health profiles

Health regions will prioritise and plan services that meet the regional population's needs. This means it’s essential to have good information on the populations they serve.

Population profiles for each HSE region are now available. These profiles provide an overview of the key demographic features of the population.

Access the 6 regional population profiles

Communications

Discussing health regions in team meetings

We are encouraging managers and staff to:

  • educate yourself about the health region and HSE Centre reforms
  • engage with your colleagues about what the health region reforms mean for you and your service
  • use opportunities like team meetings to consider new health regions as you plan and deliver your services

To support these discussions, we have prepared a slide deck presentation. The presentation includes a general overview of the health regions and an update on implementation.

The slides are intended for delivery at team and department meetings by line managers, heads of service or heads of department.

Suggested speakers’ notes are included to support managers delivering the presentation.

Download the health regions slide presentation (PowerPoint, 8.89 MB, 29 pages)

Contact

If you have a question about any of the information on this page, or want more information about the health region implementation programme, email healthregions.team@hse.ie.