Press Release

Minister Reilly announces Professor Geraldine McCarthy as Chairperson of the South/South West Hospital Group


The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly TD, today, 1st November, 2013 announced the appointment of Professor Geraldine McCarthy as Chairperson of the South/South West Hospital Group.

The Minister said “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Prof. McCarthy to the post of Chair of the South/South West Group. Prof. McCarthy’s extensive experience, both hospital and university based, will be invaluable not only in progressing the merging of the hospitals into one cohesive entity but also in the development of academic links between the hospitals and its academic partner, UCC. It will also enhance the burgeoning partnership between the University and Waterford University Hospital.”

‘Prof. McCarthy’s appointment means that we will now move to the next phase of this very important element of our health reform project, that is to the appointment of Board members and recruitment of CEOs. I want to take this opportunity to wish Professor McCarthy every success in her new role.”

The South/South West Group comprises Cork University Hospital/CUMH; Waterford Regional Hospital; Kerry General Hospital; Mercy University Hospital; South Tipperary General Hospital; South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital; Bantry General Hospital; Mallow General Hospital and the Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene.

The Group’s academic partner is University College Cork.


Biographical Note – Prof. Geraldine McCarthy

Professor Geraldine McCarthy is Emeritus Professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery University College Cork. She is a native of North Cork and has always been interested in quality health care delivery and health care reform. She was Founding Head and Dean of the School of Nursing and Midfwifery in UCC which was established in 1996. She holds a Dip Nurs from UCD, MEd degree from Trinity College Dublin, MSN and PhD degrees in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. From 2010-2011 she held the post of Interim Head of the College of Medicine and Health at UCC providing strategic leadership in research and educational programes across the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy, Therapies and Dentistry. In this role she represented the Schools at University strategic and management levels. She has held a number of health care posts in Ireland, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada. In particular before joining UCC she spent 3 years as Research and Development Manager at Beaumount Hospital Dublin, as the hospital settled into its new site. She has been a member of a number of national and international bodies including the Health Information and Quality Authority, the Fulbright Commission, the Commission on Nursing, Nurse Education Forum, Task Force on Undergraduate Medical Education, Marymount Hospital Board, the Southern Health Board and the Non Executive Advisory Board for the Reconfiguration of the Health Services in the Southern Region. As Emeritus Professor Geraldine supervises PhD level research and leads and co-ordinates a Doctorate in Nursing programme which prepares nurses to function as advanced leaders in diverse settings. She continues to work in collaboration with staff from Case Western Reserve University and with North Shore LIJ Health Care System, New York, USA

She has extensive experience of working with health services and consumers of services. For example she worked with the Institute of Public Administration in providing leadership programes to nurses at varying levels through the Office of Health Management; secured National and EU funding to investigate issues relating to quality health care delivery especially amongst older adults, developing leaders in Medicine in the EU region, and facilitating implementation of research evidence. She has published in excess of 140 original articles, edited 8 books, authored/co-authored 9 book chapters and served on editorial boards for a number of Journals.

Notes for Editors

Key benefits that will arise as a result of the establishment of hospital groups include:

    Stronger governance and management structures at the hospital level;
    Managed competition which will lead to more cost effective care and the removal of duplicated services;
    A concentration of complex services at particular hospitals in order to ensure quality;
    Efficiencies through the avoidance of duplication in areas such as HR and finance.

Next steps

    Board members to be appointed;
    Group CEO’s and Management Team to be appointed by the Public Appointments Service;
    An overarching policy framework to guide overall hospital services reorganisation is to be put in place by the Department;
    National Strategic Advisory Group (Chaired by Leo Kearns) is to be appointed by Minister.
    Strategic plan to be developed by each Group within one year of formation.

Within current health policy, health services aim to provide efficient and effective care, as close to the patient’s home as possible, with a view to improved health outcomes and satisfaction for patients. It can be difficult to achieve the necessary reform while hospitals exist in isolation from one another. The formation of hospital groups will allow the group to manage their own affairs and operate with maximum autonomy. It will also ensure that the treatment required by patients is received at the most appropriate level in the most appropriate and safest setting.

Composition of Hospital Groups

i ii iii iv v vi vii
Dublin North East:Beaumont Hospital; Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; Connolly Hospital; Cavan General Hospital; Rotunda Hospital; Louth County Hospital; Monaghan Hospital. (Academic Partner: RCSI). Dublin Midlands:St James’s Hospital; The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, including the National Children’s Hospital; Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore; Naas General Hospital; Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise; the Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital. (Academic Partner: TCD). Dublin East: Mater Misericordiae University Hospital; St Vincent’s University Hospital; Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar; St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny; Wexford General Hospital; National Maternity Hospital; Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan; St Columcille’s Hospital; St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire; Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital; Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital. (Academic Partner: UCD). South/South West: Cork University Hospital/CUMH; Waterford Regional Hospital; Kerry General Hospital; Mercy University Hospital; South Tipperary General Hospital; South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital; Bantry General Hospital; Mallow General Hospital, Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene. (Academic Partner: UCC). West/North West:University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital; Sligo Regional Hospital; Letterkenny General Hospital; Mayo General Hospital; Portiuncula Hospital; Roscommon County Hospital. (Academic Partner: NUIG). Midwest: Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick; Ennis General Hospital; Nenagh General Hospital; St John’s Hospital Limerick; Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital; Mid- Western Regional Orthopaedic. (Academic Partner: UL). Children’s Hospital Group:The acute paediatric services in Dublin; Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital – Crumlin, Children’s University Hospital Temple Street, and the paediatric service in AMNCH – Tallaght