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Minister appoints HSE Board members

Health Minister, Simon Harris has announced eight new appointees to the Board of the HSE.

The Board will be appointed on an administrative basis until the legislation has passed. These positions were advertised through the State Board process operated by the Public Appointments Service.

They will join Ciarán Devane, who was announced as Chair of the HSE Board in September 2018.

The new appointees are:

  • Fergus Finlay, former CEO of Barnardos.
  • Tim Hynes, Group Chief Information Officer, AIB.
  • Prof Deirdre Madden, professor of law at UCC and chair of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance. Dr Madden will be appointed Deputy Chair of the HSE Board.
  • Dr Sarah McLoughlin, Science and Communication Officer at Retina International and patient advocate.
  • Mark Molloy, Quantity Surveyor, member of the Expert Group on Tort Reform and Management of Clinical Negligence Claims& patient advocate.
  • Aogán Ó Fearghail, former GAA President.
  • Fiona Ross, chair of CIE and Mental Health Ireland.
  • Dr Yvonne Traynor, vice president of Regulatory & Scientific Affairs with Kerry Group.

The Department of Health said the appointees reflected the range of competencies sought for prospective HSE Board members through the State Board’s process.

There remains one final position on the Board to be announced in the coming weeks which will have particular relevance to the competency area of financial planning and management.

Under the new Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2018, to be enacted in early 2019, the Board will be the governing body of the HSE and will be accountable to the Minister for Health for the performance of its functions. The CEO of the HSE will be accountable to the Board. The Board will be appointed on an administrative basis until the legislation has passed.

The Minister said priority issues for the new HSE Board included:

  • Developing and implementing an effective performance management and accountability system in the HSE.
  • Developing a plan for building public trust and confidence in the HSE and the wider health service.
  • Ensuring the HSE’s full support for and implementation of the Government’s programme of health reform as set out in the Sláintecare Implementation Plan.

The HSE Governance Bill has passed Second Stage and will now proceed to Committee Stage. The Minister for Health has secured Cabinet approval to bring forward a number of amendments to the HSE Governance Bill. There are three changes proposed.

The first is a requirement for the Minister to give a three-year Strategic Direction Statement to the HSE Board to inform the preparation by the HSE of its three-year Corporate Plan, to be supplemented by yearly Statements of Priorities.

The second is a change in approach to the annual Service Plan, now to be an annual Performance Delivery Plan. As part of this process, the Minister’s approval of the Performance Delivery Plan will not be required but the HSE must submit the draft Plan to the Minister and the Minister may direct the HSE to amend the Plan. In line with this, similar new arrangements will apply to the Capital Plan, also an annual process.

The third will designate specific functions to the Board and the CEO with a focus on performance and accountability. The amendments will also require the Board to establish arrangements for managing the CEO’s performance.