Press Release

Minister Reilly attends first meeting of Strategic Advisory Group on Hospital Groups

The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, TD today (Friday 7 February 2013) attended the first meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group on Hospital Groups.

The Group’s remit is to ensure that international best practice informs the implementation of hospital groups. It includes both Irish and international members, from a wide range of backgrounds and many different perspectives on healthcare.

The Minister said: “This group has a key role to play in helping us to address the many complex challenges involved in this fundamental reform of our hospital services. I am delighted that we have been able to bring together people with huge experience and expertise, both nationally and internationally, to help us move forward as quickly as possible.”

The Chair, Mr. Leo Kearns, said: “There are potentially huge gains to be made for our healthcare system and ultimately for patients through the establishment of hospital groups. I very much look forward to working with the group to play our part in delivering this reform.”

Notes for editors

The establishment of Hospital Groups arises from the Programme for Government, the Government decision to approve the Higgins Report (The Establishment of Hospital Groups as a transition to Independent Hospital Trusts) and the Minister for Health’s intention to implement Hospital Groups based on that decision. Each group of hospitals will work together as single cohesive entities managed as one, to provide acute care for patients in their area, integrating with community and primary care. Seven hospital groups have been established as follows: Dublin North East; Dublin Midlands; Dublin East; South/South West; West/North West; UL Hospitals Group and Children’s Hospital Group.

The Strategic Advisory Group will provide objective advice and expertise to the Department, HSE and Hospital Groups and oversee the establishment of hospital groups and the subsequent reorganisation of acute hospital services.


  • Mr. Leo Kearns , Chair, National Lead, Transformation and Change, Health Service Executive
  • Dr. Aine Carroll , National Director of Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division, Health Service Executive
  • Mr. Ian Carter , National Director of Acute Hospitals, Health Service Executive
  • Ms. Tracey Conroy , Assistant Secretary General, Acute Hospitals Policy, Department of Health
  • Mr. Michael Dowling , President & CEO of North Shore / LIJ Health System, Inc, New York and former member of the Strategic Board for Hospital Groups
  • Ms. Fionnuala Duffy , Head of Acute Hospitals Policy Unit, Department of Health
  • Mr. Michael Fitzgerald , Head of Operations and Service Improvement, Service for Older People, Health Service Executive
  • Prof. John Higgins , Consultant Obstetrician and former Chair of the Strategic Board for Hospital Groups
  • Dr. Colm Henry , National Lead, Clinical Director Programme, Consultant Geriatrician
  • Dr. Tony Holohan , Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
  • Professor Mary Horgan , Chair, Council of Deans of the Medical Schools, Head of the School of Medicine, UCC
  • Prof. Frank Keane , Chairperson of the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies
  • Prof. Niek Klazinga , Coordinator of Health Care Quality Indicator Program, OECD
  • Dr. Uma Kotagal , Senior Vice President of Quality, Safety and Transformation, James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Dr. Owen Mulligan , Executive Clinical Director of Sligo Mental Health Services,Health Service Executive
  • Dr. Michael Shannon , Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services, Clinical Strategy & Programmes Directorate, Health Service Executive