The National Clinical Programmes enable surgeons, doctors, nurses, health and social care professionals, and hospital managers with expertise in their clinical service area, to work in collaboration to develop standardised care pathways, clinical guidelines and models of care for the patient journey. These models of care emphasise evidenced-based pathways and new ways of working to support better patient access and quality of care.

The programmes have three main objectives:

  • Improve the quality of care we deliver to all users of HSE services
  • Improve access to all services
  • Improve cost-effectiveness

Harnessing multidisciplinary expertise supports the development of improvements that are patient-centred and have a positive impact on health service delivery. Quality Improvement methodologies are the cornerstones to all RCSI programmes and are used to continually improve and enhance our patients' journey in what can be a complex health system.

The RCSI National Clinical Programmes report directly into both the RCSI Committee for Surgical Affairs (CSA) and the HSE’s National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Operations. This CSA Committee meets regularly and its membership includes the clinical leads and representatives of all 11 surgical specialties.

The RCSI’s Programme Office works closely with the other National Clinical Programmes, notably the National Clinical Programme in Anesthesia and Critical Care. It also works with other programmes, when requested, as well as hospital groups, specialty associations, patient advocacy groups and all relevant stakeholders across the healthcare system.