St Vincent’s University Hospital chief to step down next week

Departure follows controversy over compliance with public service pay rules

An operation in progress at  the   National Surgical Centre for Pancreatic Cancer at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. The departure of Nicky  Jermyn as chief executive of the State-funded hospital comes on foot of controversy over whether the group was compliant with public service pay rules. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

An operation in progress at the National Surgical Centre for Pancreatic Cancer at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. The departure of Nicky Jermyn as chief executive of the State-funded hospital comes on foot of controversy over whether the group was compliant with public service pay rules. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Thu, Mar 27, 2014, 12:20

Chief executive of St Vincent’s University Hospital Nicky Jermyn is to step down from the post from next Monday.

He told staff today that he was in discussions with the board of the overall St Vincent’s Healthcare Group - which runs two public hospitals, St Vincent’s University Hospital in Elm Park and St Michael’s Hospital in Dún Laoghaire, as well as St Vincent’s Private Hospital - about his future role.

Mr Jermyn said he remained as chief executive of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

The departure of Mr Jermyn as chief executive of the State-funded St Vincent’s University Hospital comes on foot of controversy over whether the group was compliant with public service pay rules.

Just before Christmas, the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group said Mr Jermyn was receiving a package of more than €292,000 a year. It said this was made up of €136,282 from the public sector and €136,951 from the private sector, as well as a privately funded car allowance of €19,796.

The group came under fire from the HSE and the members of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee over the payment of additional sums to senior executives, over and above official public health service-approved salaries, for work carried out in its private hospital.

In January the group’s chairman, Prof Noel Whelan, told the committee that the organisation was going to “swing around into compliance” with Government public service pay policy.

He said the the group had received legal advice, including from Michael McDowell SC, which indicated it was in compliance with pay policy, as public money was not being used to make the additional payments to senior executives. However, he said the group was in a process aimed at resolving a dispute with the HSE over whether it actually was in compliance with Government pay policy.

Prof Whelan told the committee he hoped this process would be completed by the end of March.

In a memo to staff, Mr Jermyn said: “With effect from Monday, 31st of March 2014, I will no longer be chief executive officer of St Vincent’s University Hospital. My decision was taken in the context of the developments in recent months, and to ensure that all the staff in the hospital can continue to focus on providing our patients with the care and attention they deserve.

“I am in discussions with the board about my future role. Although I am no longer responsible for the University Hospital, I remain as group CEO of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.”

He said that as of Tuesday, April 1st, the board of the group had asked Kilian McGrane to be interim chief executive of the university hospital, pending a permanent appointment being made.

“As you know, Kilian is currently the chief operating officer and, together with the senior management team and the executive management team, will ensure the hospital continues to provide safe, quality care to our patients.”