Primary Care

Primary Care

Niall Sinnott

Niall Sinnott is a member of the Senior Management Team of the Office of the CIO (OoCIO) and a member of the Senior Management Team of the Primary Care Division within the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland.

In his current role as IT Delivery Director for Primary Care, Niall is responsible for the delivery of all HSE funded IT initiatives for Primary Care in Ireland. He is responsible for the relationship between the OoCIO and the Primary Care Division and for translating the strategic and operational objectives of the Primary Care Division into programmes and services that the OoCIO can deliver.

Over the past 18 months, Niall has driven the deployment eReferrals to all hospitals in Ireland and to all GPs nationally and for guiding our first tentative steps into the area of ePrescribing for Primary Care.

With 13 years experience in the Health Service, Niall has worked on the implementation of enterprise wide corporate systems, spent 5 years running the National IT Programme Office which has a portfolio of over 200 capital projects worth €55 million per annum. He has worked closely with the Irish College of GP’s and their GPIT Committee to promote development of practice management systems in Primary Care.

Prior to joining the Health Service Niall spent 20 years working in the Aerospace and Automotive industry. An engineer by profession, Niall has worked for multinationals in the UK, US and Germany. Niall has experience of working on large scale Manufacturing Systems, Supply Chain Management and ERP Systems. Niall is a certified PMI, APM and Prince2 practitioner and has delivered numerous high value complex projects as a Programme Manager and Commercial Director. 

See more at Primary Care IT

In August 2015, we will launch an IT strategy for Primary Care. This will focus especially on IT enabled solutions that can make a meaningful difference for patients who transition between the Primary and Secondary Care settings. With the introduction of the national Individual Health Identifier, there is massive potential to ensure that the data required for the safe treatement of patients who transition between these settings is available to the clinicians when and where it is required. This will improve continuity of care, reduce the risk of repeating tests unnecessarily and ultimately lead to safer environment and better service for patients. - See more at:

Major ICT Projects in Primary Care

We are currently pursueing two new major projects in train for Primary Care. Both projects are featured in our Case Studies.

The National e-Referrals project follows on from the success of a pilot that was run across hospitals in the South of the country in 2014. The Healthmail project, a joint initiative between the HSE, Irish College of GPs and the Department of Health, meanwhile has seen widespread and rapid adoption by clinicians all across the country.

Both projects are focussed on improving integration between the Primary and Secondary Care for the benefit of patients. Here is a brief description of both projects:

National Electronic Referrals

This project will enable GP's to make general referrals electronically to all public hospitals across the country. From within the GP's Practice Management IT system, your GP will be able to select the hospital and speciality where the referral is targeted. The referral can be pre populated with demographics and relevant clinical days from the GP Practice Management System, thus creating a high quality, consistent and complete referral in line with HIQA guidelines to aid the triage process by the receiving consultant. 

Having rolled out the solution to the hospitals in Cork and Kerry, the next step is to deploy it to all sites nationally. We have just brought an additional six sites live and are engaged with the next tranche of sites for go live in October. We plan to take all sites live with e-Referrals by March 2016.


Healthmail is designed to advance patient care by connecting clinicians throughout the Health Service ensuring accurate information is received in a timely manner to inform decision making, particularly in relation to patient diagnosis or treatment.

Healthmail allows GPs to communicate with:

       Primary Care Teams

       Community Intervention Teams

       Palliative Care Teams

       Consultants and Clinical Nurse Specialists in secondary care

       Departments of Public Health

In the past, the absence of a secure clinical email system was costly to both GPs and hospitals with thousands of letters and faxes being sent a day by clinicians. This secure service is expected to save GPs and hospitals both time and money as well as eliminating the risk of lost paperwork.

The service was formally launched by Minister Kathleen Lynch in April 2015 so we are currently focussing our efforts on promoting its adoption, expanding the its usage and sharing practical use cases.