THE start of a new era in acute hospital services in the Mid-West was marked by the first meeting of the board of directors of the Mid Western Regional Hospitals Group. All six hospitals in the region, Dooradoyle, Regional Maternity, Regional Orthopaedic Croom, Nenagh, Ennis and St John’s are now united in one single hospital system.
This means a common model of governance covering finance, staffing and resources under chief executive Ann Doherty and the new board of directors. The board is chaired by Prof Niall O’Higgins and its membership comprises Dr Sheela Ryan, organisation consultant and chairwoman of the National Children Services Committee; Maurice Carr, partner with BDO; Seumas Gubbins, consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers and trustee with Limerick Civic Trust; Dr Mary Gray, GP and senior lecturer in Health Law and Ethics, UL; Prof Don Barry, president UL, and Tiernan O’Neill, principal at Corpus Christi PS, Moyross.
Tony O’Brien, director general designate HS, commented: “The establishment of hospital groups followed by hospital trusts to manage public hospitals is a key element of the reform of the health service in Ireland. The hospital board of directors has been established to promote the success of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital Group by leading and directing the group’s activities. The board’s task is to direct the group.
“This will involve four main elements:
- strategic planning
- policy making
- supervision and challenge of executive management accountability to stakeholders
“The board also has an important role in creating and maintaining a high profile for the Group at community and national level. The board is established initially on a non statutory basis and its business will be conducted in an open and transparent manner.”
Prof Niall O’Higgins said: “The first meeting of the board represents the departure point on a major journey of improvement and reform of the hospital services in the Mid-Western Region Hospitals Group. A key function of the Board will be to guide the group effectively in the transition towards Hospital Trust status.
“Each member of the board brings a range of wide and deep experiences and expertise which will ensure that the board is vigorous and progressive. All members share the determination and the enthusiasm to improve the hospital services in the region. I am grateful to them for agreeing to accept this important commitment.
“Given the opportunity and support, the board will assist the newly-appointed and energetic hospital executive in developing and extending specialist hospital facilities. A comprehensive re-organisation programme is under way to promote speedy access of patients to specialist care in a timely manner. The board will do all it can to support the hospital executive to achieve this aim. It will enhance dialogue with the public, with general practitioners, nurses and other professionals and with the university. We are committed to drive standards upwards and to cherish and treat each patient coming under its care with competence, integrity, kindness and safety.”