Press Release

Major changes to governance at Tallaght Hospital. Joint statement from the President and the Board of Tallaght Hospital and the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly.

In a joint statement today (Wednesday, 9th November, 2011) from the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Michael Jackson (President of Tallaght Hospital), the Board of Tallaght Hospital and the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, a framework has been announced to implement a series of new initiatives to reform and modernise the governance structures of the Hospital. The announcement follows an intensive and positive series of discussions involving the Hospital Board and President, the Minister for Health, the Department of Health and the HSE.

The discussions took place against the challenging backdrop faced by the Hospital in the context of a significant budgetary overrun at the Hospital and the commencement of a HIQA investigation into practices in its Emergency Department.

The Minister would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge publicly the success achieved by the current management and Board of Tallaght Hospital in bringing the budgetary overrun under strict control within agreed parameters, agreeing a further cost saving plan for 2012 and for voluntarily commencing the process of reforming the governance structure of the Hospital – all of which has been achieved since August 2011.

The unique history of Tallaght Hospital, combining as it does (in the form of a Charter) the identity of three separate foundations (the Meath Foundation, the Adelaide Hospital Society and the National Children’s Hospital) has resulted in a governance structure which is ultimately no longer properly suited to the modern complexities of running an academic teaching hospital of such a scale.

It has been agreed to implement the reform of the governance structure over two phases with a further reduction in the size of the Hospital Board occurring imminently in the appointment of an interim board while in the longer term the Charter will be replaced by new legislation.

The Minister has confirmed that the voluntary status of the Hospital will remain and further that the pluralist core values of the Hospital are assured and will be carried over into the replacement legislation. The values and principles of openness and inclusiveness in all aspects of healthcare provision, relating to medicine, nursing and research, shall be maintained by the President of the hospital as also will be the principles of pluralism, freedom of conscience and freedom to practise religion in the Hospital.

These changes, with the support of the foundations, the President and Board of the Hospital, and the Minister for Health are considered essential for ongoing progress to be assured in the prudent and effective management of the Hospital in manner that gives the greatest assurance that the patients get the best possible service from the available resources.