Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has announced that new management arrangements are to be put in place for two groups of hospitals in the West and Mid West.
Under the new arrangements, each group will have one CEO, a single clinical governance model, one budget and one employment ceiling.
Galway University Hospital will be grouped with Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe and Roscommon General Hospital.
Elsewhere, the Mid Western Regional Hospitals at Limerick, Ennis and Nenagh, together with the Orthopaedic Hospital at Croom and St John's Hospital Limerick will work together.
A supervisory group of five individuals with expertise in different aspects of hospital management will provide support, on a part-time basis, to the two CEOs.
“I am very pleased that the Special Delivery Unit in my Department and the HSE had worked together to develop an appropriate solution to the challenge of putting in place effective new leadership arrangements for these two important groups of hospitals,” Minister Reilly said.
“This is good news for the communities served by all these hospitals. It will ensure a better health service in the West and Mid West and assure the future of small hospitals in both regions.
“The new CEOs will take forward their important new roles on the basis of parity of esteem for the hospitals and teams within their hospital groups.”
Bill Maher, currently Acting CEO of St Vincent’s University Hospital, has been appointed CEO of the Galway/Roscommon Hospital Group with effect from January 9 2012, on secondment.
Ann Doherty, former head of the National Hospitals Office, has been appointed CEO of the Mid Western Hospitals Group. Ms Doherty will transfer to this role from the National Cancer Control Programme in early January.
“Galway University Hospital and Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick both have significant challenges to overcome in terms of service delivery and financial performance,” said a Department of Health statement.
“These new arrangements are designed to deliver improved performance, organisational cohesion and effectiveness; and accountability for the efficient and safe delivery of acute hospital services within the hospital groups on a unified basis.
“The new CEOs will have full regard to the entire capacity of the hospital group, with a particular emphasis on developing the role of the smaller hospitals.”