The National Dementia Office was established in 2015 to oversee the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy.
Our vision is that people with dementia and their family carers receive the supports and services they need to fulfil their potential and to maintain their identity, resilience and dignity as valued and active citizens in society.
Our mission is to transform the dementia landscape in Ireland by:
- Providing leadership for the implementation of the Department of Health National Dementia Strategy and the HSE's Reform Programme, so that people with dementia can live well, can have services and supports delivered in the best way possible and can ultimately die with comfort and dignity.
- Working collaboratively with staff across HSE Divisions/ NGOS/ Private /Voluntary services to ensure the effective roll-out of the National Dementia Strategy implementation plan, creating an interconnected approach to the identification of programme solutions, service delivery, education and public information.
- Influencing policy and practice in dementia care in Ireland; advocating for an evidence-based, progressive approach to the development and provision of dementia services and supports.
- Raising awareness and increasing understanding of dementia and related risk factors; empowering people living with dementia, their family carers, communities and those working in dementia care.
The values that guide the NDO in all its activities and interactions in realising its mission are:
- Professionalism and Accountability
- Collaboration and Partnership
- Empowerment and a Rights-Based Approach
Meet the Team
Mary was appointed to the post of General Manager, National Dementia Office HSE in 2016. Prior to taking up this National Post, Mary was Director of the Nursing & Midwifery Planning & Development unit for the Midlands region. She also held the post of National Nursing Lead for Dementia for the office for Nursing & Midwifery Directorate (ONMSD) working with the National Dementia Strategy office supporting the implementation of the strategy.
Since 2009, she has represented the HSE on matters relating to dementia education and service improvement. She was the project lead for the highly successful National Dementia Education project and is currently the HSE Lead for the Dementia Elevator project with Dublin City University.
She has an MSc in Interdisciplinary Dementia Studies from the University of Ulster, along with an MSc in Education and Training Management from Dublin City University.
Dr Emer Begley
Emer is a Senior Project Manager at the National Dementia Office. Prior to joining the HSE in January 2017, Emer worked for eight years in the Community and Voluntary Sector working with a number of advocacy organisations focusing on dementia and ageing. Most recently she was Policy and Research Manager with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Prior to this, she was with Age Action as their Senior Policy Officer.
Her academic background is in social policy and social research, completing her PhD in 2009 from Trinity College where her research focused on the lived experience and health and social care needs of people living with early-stage dementia. She also holds a BA in Sociology, an HDip in Statistics, Diploma in Project Management and an MSc in Applied Social Research.
Dr Suzanne Timmons
Dr Suzanne Timmons joined the team in October 2017 as Clinical Lead for the National Dementia Office. Suzanne is a geriatrician in Cork, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, UCC, and Programme Coordinator for the MSc in Older Person Rehabilitation, UCC. She has a special interest in health service research and quality improvement in the area of dementia and delirium care in acute hospitals. She co-led the Irish and Northern Ireland National Audits of Dementia and, on behalf of the National Clinical Programme for Older People, chaired a working group to develop a national delirium algorithm for use on acute hospital wards.
Research projects include the multi-hospital Cork Dementia Study; an RCT of augmented physical activity in older people in hospital (APEP); and early delirium recognition/detection (the Cork Delirium Studies). Dr Timmons leads the Cork Integrated Dementia care Across Settings (Cork-IDEAS) project, developing an integrated dementia care pathway between the community and acute hospital.
Sinead joined the team in April 2019 as a project officer having previously worked in the Nursing & Midwifery, Planning & Development Unit (NMPDU) for 14 years. Sinead has been involved in promoting education and training. Throughout her time in the NMPDU Sinead assisted in the roll-out of national projects, including the National Dementia Education Programme and more recently the Early Warning Score in Acute Hospitals. Sinead holds a Certificate in Project Management.
Ita joined the team in May 2019 as a project officer for the National Dementia Office. Ita has previously worked in the acute services for the past 19 years. Her academic background is in healthcare completing her B.A in Healthcare Management, Post Grad in Health Promotion and she holds a Certificate in Project Management.
Stephanie joined the office in September 2017 as an Administrator. She has a wide range of administrative experience gained from working across various sectors in both Ireland and Australia. Stephanie holds a Certificate in Supervisory Management and Team Leadership.
E-mail: Dementia.Office@hse.ie or Stephanie.Connell@hse.ie
Phone: 057 931 8451