Question to the Minister for Health (Dr. James Reilly, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on the establishment of hospital trusts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 05/11/2013
The Report on the Establishment of Hospital Groups, which I launched on 14 May, is the most fundamental reform of the Irish acute hospital system in decades. The introduction of Hospital Groups will provide for organisational change in the first instance, giving more autonomy and better enabling the reorganisation of services in a well-planned manner. Over time, this will help to improve services and deliver better outcomes for patients.
In July, expressions of interest were invited through the Public Appointments Service for appointment as Chairpersons and members of Hospital Group Boards. I have now appointed Dr Tom Lynch as Chair of the Dublin East Hospital Group, Dr Frank Dolphin as Chair of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, Ms Anne Maher as Chair of the Dublin North East Groups and Prof. Geraldine McCarthy as Chair of the South/South West Hospital Group. These appointments are in addition to the existing Chairs of the West/North West Hospital Group, the MidWest Hospital Group and the Children’s Hospital Group, Prof. Niall O’Higgins, Mr Noel Daly and Dr Jim Browne. CEOs and Boards are already in place for these three hospital groups.
The process of recruiting CEOs for the Dublin East, Dublin Midlands, Dublin North East and South / South West Hospital Groups will now commence, in consultation with the newly appointed Chairpersons, through the Public Appointments Service. My Department will also enter into discussion with the Chairs with a view to appointing the other Board members as soon as possible.
A Strategic Advisory Group is now being established, chaired by Mr Leo Kearns, which will oversee the establishment of Hospital Groups and the subsequent reorganisation of acute hospital services. Hospital Groups will be required, within one year, to develop a strategic plan which will outline their plans for future services within the group area. These strategic plans will determine the way services are provided within each Group, and their successful implementation will be required before Groups can advance to become Hospital Trusts when the necessary legislation is put in place.