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Saolta University Cancer Network progresses to next stage of European accreditation

Saolta University Cancer Network are delighted to have progressed to the next stage of accreditation with the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI).

The OECI Accreditation and Designation programme is considered internationally as the gold standard for cancer care. It focuses on enabling a complete quality system for cancer diagnosis, care, education and research.

OECI is an organisation of European cancer centres founded in 1979 to provide patients equal access to high quality cancer care through cooperation and knowledge exchange.  

By participating in this prestigious accreditation process the Saolta University Cancer Network has committed to ongoing quality improvement in cancer care through research, innovation, partnership and patient empowerment.

The Saolta cancer programme provides a wide range of cancer services to a population of 830,000 people across the west and northwest. In line with the national model of care (a hub and spoke model), complex care is located at University Hospital Galway with satellite centres delivering care closer to home in Letterkenny University Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Mayo University Hospital and Portiuncula University Hospital.

The network is a clinical academic partnership between the Saolta University Healthcare Group and the University of Galway and is aligned with the strategic priorities of the National Cancer Strategy (2017-2026).

In 2021, the Saolta University Cancer Network became a member of the OECI with a view to becoming an European accredited cancer network to quality assure the cancer programme within region. Following membership and preliminary designation screening by the OECI, the Saolta University Cancer Network undertook an extensive self-assessment process against the OECI standards with a completed submission delivered in February 2024.

This was approved by the OECI Accreditation and Designation (A&D) Board, and will result in a peer review visit scheduled for May 2024.

The peer review will include site visits by a European independent panel of experts who assess all elements the cancer programme in our hospitals. Any recommendations for quality improvement as a result of the review will be our focus over the next period, with a decision expected in November 2024 on our status as a fully accredited OECI Cancer Centre.  

Professor Michael Kerin, Director of Saolta University Cancer Network welcomed the progress saying, “Our vision is to create a centre of excellence delivering the highest international standards in cancer treatment, research and education across our network and the OECI accreditation process will enable us to deliver patient centred cancer care at the highest standards internationally.”

Tony Canavan, Regional Executive Officer, HSE West and North West welcomed the progress adding: "The provision of integrated cancer care for the population of our region is a priority and I want to commend the team for the focus and determination they have shown in making this a reality for the people we serve."

Photo Caption:
Dr Manvydas Varzgalis, Consultant Breast Surgeon, LUH; Tony Canavan, Regional Executive Officer, HSE West and North West; Professor Maccon Keane, Associate Clinical Director of the Network, GUH Saolta Cancer MCAN / Consultant Medical Oncologist; Geraldine Cooley, General Manager Saolta Cancer MCAN; Professor Michael Kerin, Director Saolta Cancer MCAN; Olive Gallagher, Director of Nursing, Saolta Cancer MCAN; Dr Joseph Martin, Associate Clinical Director of the Network, GUH Saolta Cancer MCAN / Consultant Radiation Oncologist; Dr Gerry O’Dowd, Associate Clinical Director of the Network, LUH Saolta Cancer MCAN / Consultant Histopathologist; and Dr Andrew Hodgson, Associate Clinical Director of the Network, SUH Saolta Cancer MCAN / Consultant Haematologist.


The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
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