Minister Corcoran Kennedy launches Healthy Ireland Initiation Day for Dublin Midlands Hospital Group

Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore providing free exercise classes, BMI assessments and mindfulness sessions for staff

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Minister Corcoran Kennedy launches Healthy Ireland Initiation Day for Dublin Midlands Hospital Group

Sonia Shortt, Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy; Orlagh Claffey & Sinead Geraghty, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore and Dr Susan O’Reilly.

Dublin Midlands Hospital Group hosted an event at Farmleigh House this week to mark the beginning of the process of developing a Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan for the Group.

The event was officially opened by Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD, Minister of State for Public Health Promotion, who congratulated the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group on commencing its Healthy Ireland planning, and praised the positive activities already underway across the Group’s seven hospitals to promote staff health and wellbeing.

The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group comprises St James’s Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Naas General Hospital & St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network.

The Minister said, “Making all our workplaces healthier is an important focus of our work under Healthy Ireland.  It is very timely that the HSE is taking action in the area of workplace health, as it is so important that we lead by example when we are encouraging all sectors to implement healthy workplace policies.”

A special presentation was made to each of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group’s seven hospitals to implement workplace activities that promote health and wellness, and encourage participation and collaboration.

CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, Dr Susan O’Reilly, outlined the initiatives that each hospital will undertake. The activities will be rolled out early in the New Year.

“Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore are providing free exercise classes, BMI assessments, mindfulness sessions and a signed indoor walking track for staff that will encourage activity and better mental health at the workplace,” said Dr. O’Reilly

Naas General Hospital are providing a bike rack, pedometers and mindfulness CDs for staff use. A visual display until for the staff canteen will also be installed to highlight the participation of staff in events and activities.

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise will be running Pilates classes, a team weight loss competition in conjunction with Operation Transformation and will be supporting a number of staff on a smoking cessation programme."

St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network will develop gym facilities at their hospital to encourage staff to get physically active.

St James’s Hospital will be developing a staff training programme in supervisory and supportive roles on how to support bereaved staff in the workplace. This will include a grief at work workshop and the publication of a bereavement booklet.

The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital is providing training to staff for both peer support and ‘Defusing Techniques’ that can be used in the workplace to mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma on midwives and nurses.

Tallaght Hospital will establish a small, focussed health and wellbeing Action Group and, with the support of management within the hospital, will be installing a bike rack for staff to encourage staff to cycle to work.  They are also issuing pedometers so that staff can track their steps throughout their working day.”

 The Healthy Ireland Framework 2013 – 2025 was launched by the Government in 2013. Following on from the launch of that framework, the HSE developed Healthy Ireland in the Health Services Implementation Plan, of which improving staff health and wellbeing was one of the three strategic priorities.