Concerns persist over the independent governance of the new national maternity hospital

April 26, 2017

Questions and concerns over the ownership and independent governance of the new National Maternity Hospital still persist despite repeated reassurances, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has said.

Deputy Shortall said: “The publication last night of what appear to be outline details of a deal struck between St Vincent’s Hospital Group and the National Maternity Hospital has raised more questions than it has answered about how independent governance of the new hospital will be guaranteed.

“Despite repeated assurances that the board of the new hospital will be independent, the detailed arrangements set out in the document suggest otherwise. In particular, it appears that St Vincent’s Hospital Group will have significant control over the appointment of an “independent international expert” as the ninth member of the board of the new hospital company.

“This lack of clarity cannot continue as it is incredibly damaging to public trust and feeds into real concerns that the ethos of the Sisters of Charity may impact on services for mothers and infants at the new hospital.

Deputy Shortall has the following serious questions about key issues that go to the heart of how the new hospital will be owned and run:

  1. Has a legally binding agreement been signed by St Vincent’s Hospital Group and the current National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, and if so, who has seen it?
  1. Why does St Vincent’s Hospital Group appear to have been given the ultimate say over the selection of an “independent international expert” to the board of the new hospital, under paragraph 4.1 of the agreement?
  1. Why are the board and staff of St Vincent’s Hospital Group exclusively in charge of the clinical governance for hospitals on the Elm Park campus including the new maternity hospital?
  1. Why do we still not have an answer to the fundamental question of why a decision has been made to hand over a public asset valued at €300 million to a private interest?


26 April 2017