Dublin 2013 - Core meeting


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The U21 Health Sciences Group core meeting took place over three mornings (4, 5 and 6 September).

Deans of Medicine and Deans of Nursing met separately over lunch on 5 September, while the U21 Health Sciences Executive met on 4 September.

The annual meeting concluded with a series of brief presentations, including reports from each of the discipline groups and the Executive. A presentation introducing next year's host university for the U21 HS annual meeting (Fudan University) was also provided.


CORE MEETING - DAY 1 (Wednesday 4 September 2013)


The core meeting started with a keynote presentation from Professor Brendan Drumm. He explained why many current health systems are inadequate and what a good system would look like to him in terms of patient experience, effectiveness of service and safety of services. He then described the factors almost unique to health services that make achieving change so difficult. To him, radical change is dependent on having clinical leaders step forward to plan and implement reforms towards integrated healthcare. Dr Charlie Davie from University College London described his own experience in driving change in acute stroke services in London.  The session concluded with a presentation from Dr Diane Payne and Dr Pablo Lucas on community-based multidisciplinary teams.


  • Changing systems to put patients before providers
    Prof Brendan Drumm, Consultant Paediatrician and former head of the HSE, University College Dublin


  • Developing clinicians as leaders, experience on the ground
    Dr Charlie Davie, University College London
  • Community-based multidisciplinary teams, how they do or do not work
    Dr Diane Payne, University College Dublin
    Dr Pablo Lucas, University College Dublin


CORE MEETING - DAY 2 (Thursday 5 September 2013)


The second day of the core meeting was dedicated to the digital revolution and the era of the e-patient. Dr Ronan Kavanagh talked about the use of social media in professional development and how he had ‘learnt to learn’. He showed some of the tools practitioners could use for knowledge surveillance. Marie Ennis-O'Connor emphasised the importance of patient involvement and attendance at medical meetings and argued that e-patients are focused, motivated, socially adept and technologically literate. She described that engaged patients save the health system money, improve outcomes and reduce complaints and medical errors, and that partnering with patients should be seen as an opportunity. Dr Kendall Ho explained how social media enables and expands professional networks. He showed how knowledge that is shared becomes more powerful and how social media in health can help reflect, resonate and help each other. He also outlined some of the potential opportunities for the U21 HSG in looking at the use of social media in health education.


  • Social media in professional development
    Dr Ronan Kavanagh, Consultant Rheumatologist (

  • The rise of the e-patient
    Ms Marie Ennis O'Connor,
    patient advocate and communications specialist (@JBBC)

  • The transformative power of social media
    Dr Kendall Ho, University of British Columbia (


CORE MEETING - DAY 3 (Friday 6 September 2013)


The third and final day of the core meeting addressed the issue of clinical leadership in patient safety. Professor Simon Maxwell talked about the problem of patient safety in prescribing errors. Some discussions with the audience addressed the multiprofessional dimension of prescribing and the need for prescribing assessments to be integrated into degrees. Marie Kehoe O’Sullivan described her experience in supporting and enabling a culture of patient safety and quality improvement across and within healthcare systems. She argued that there is a need for mutual respect between professions to support patient safety and it should start with the students.


  • The problem of patient safety in prescribing errors
    Prof Simon Maxwell, University of Edinburgh
  • Supporting clinical leadership in patient safety
    Ms Marie Kehoe O'Sullivan, Health Information & Quality Authority