Mater Transformation celebrates 10 years of supporting Irish healthcare improvements and design-led innovation

21st June, 2023

Minister Paschal Donohoe launches exhibition showcasing reduction in patient waiting lists, hospital stays and treatment times driven by the innovation of the dedicated unit at the Mater Hospital


Mater Transformation, a unit at the Mater Hospital dedicated to improving the healthcare experience of patients, is celebrating 10 years of transforming healthcare. Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery & Reform and local TD Paschal Donohoe today (21st June 2023) opened an exhibition and new website which showcase the ways this office has dramatically improved patient experiences.


The first of its kind in Ireland, the dedicated unit embedded within the Mater Hospital was established in 2013 and has worked closely with frontline staff all over Ireland to co-design and deliver long lasting improvements in the healthcare system, generating time and cost savings, enhancing quality of care and bettering the experience of patients.


Speaking in the Mater Hospital’s Pillar Room at the opening of a mid-summer exhibition to mark the anniversary, Minister Paschal Donohoe said: “I am delighted to attend the Mater Hospital today to learn more about the important work of Mater Transformation. Over the past ten years, the Mater Transformation team has been dedicated to the enhancement of healthcare systems and their innovative solutions have led to system efficiencies but more importantly a better patient experience. I congratulate Mater Transformation on this achievement and wish them continued success over the next 10 years.”


The service provided by Mater Transformation has seen 430 graduates from 53 healthcare organisations nationwide deliver improvements in the healthcare system. In addition, over 3,500 healthcare staff nationally have undertaken the Mater Lean Academy’s one day ‘Fundamentals of Process Improvement Programme.’


Mater Transformation’s Mid-Summer exhibition opening today will showcase successful projects at the Mater Hospital, such as:


  • StrokeLINK – A nurse-led service which is transforming post-stroke recovery at the Mater and reducing repeated emergency hospital visits. Before StrokeLINK, one in every ten stroke patients returned to the Mater Hospital with emergencies that are now dealt with or averted in the community by StrokeLINK.
  • ‘BIG IDea’ – A colour coded staff badge which ensures ease of identification at a glance. In the pilot trial, 93% of Mater staff said they could identify co-workers more effectively when using the badge. This innovation is being rolled out across the Mater Hospital this year.
  • Pathways to Rehab – a programme helping older patients to access rehabilitation sites, enabling faster discharge and which has resulted in freeing up more than 4,000 bed days per year and reducing the average length of stay for these patients by 33%
  • See and Treat – a one stop shop for patients requiring minor surgical procedures which combines the initial assessment with treatment in a single visit, rather than two. It has resulted in a 54% decrease in waiting times for these patients. 



Congratulating Mater Transformation and frontline teams on their success, Alan Sharp, CEO of the Mater Hospital, said: “For over 160 years, the Mater Hospital has positioned itself as a leader in advancing healthcare in Ireland. We understand that to deliver the very best to our patients, we must ensure that the hospital and our staff are always moving forward – seeking out better ways of doing things. The work of Mater Transformation embodies this message and I am proud of the service it provides to healthcare professionals nationwide.”


Mater Transformation’s success has been bolstered by a partnership with UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems since 2013 and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) since 2016. The work has been supported by funding from sources such as HSE Spark Innovation, Sláintecare Integration Fund and the Public Service Innovation Fund.


Dr Úna Cunningham, Head of Mater Transformation and Executive Lead for Strategic Projects said: “Mater Transformation has been a pioneer of person-centred lean methodology and design in healthcare and prides itself in its interdisciplinary and collective leadership approach to the redesign of healthcare systems. Working with frontline teams, Mater Transformation consistently resolves healthcare challenges, addresses quality and safety issues and develops educational and support tools. We are committed to continuing this work and ultimately contributing towards better patient care nationwide.”