Hospital group chief resigns over ‘conflict of interest’

HSE audit unit found breach of regulations

Sinn Féin alleged a conflict of interest after it emerged that Mr Daly holds a 50 per cent stake in the firm. Health spokesman Caomhghín Ó Caolaín called on Minister for Health James Reilly to explain his role in the appointment of Mr Daly as chairman of the hospital group.

Sinn Féin alleged a conflict of interest after it emerged that Mr Daly holds a 50 per cent stake in the firm. Health spokesman Caomhghín Ó Caolaín called on Minister for Health James Reilly to explain his role in the appointment of Mr Daly as chairman of the hospital group.

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 01:01

The chairman of

the West/Northwest Hospital Group, Noel Daly has resigned.

Last month a review by the HSE audit unit found that the appointment of a consultancy part-owned by Mr Daly to review local maternity services breached HSE financial regulations.

Sinn Féin alleged a conflict of interest after it emerged that Mr Daly holds a 50 per cent stake in the firm. Health spokesman Caomhghín Ó Caolaín called on Minister for Health James Reilly to explain his role in the appointment of Mr Daly as chairman of the hospital group.

During Leader’s Questions yesterday, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said it was unacceptable that James Reilly was overseeing a review into how a company founded by Mr Daly was appointed to examine maternity services under the group’s remit.

The report by D&F Health Partnership, as reported in The Irish Times in April recommended major cuts to maternity services in the west and northwest.

Dr Reilly told the Seanad last month that a review by the HSE found the procurement of services from the consultancy was not in accordance with financial regulations. He said HSE director general Tony O’Brien had written to the hospital group outlining his concerns and seeking to ensure the recommendations in the review were implemented.

The West/North West Hospitals Group said its chairman, Noel Daly, has had no involvement with D&F Health Partnership Ltd since his retirement from the firm in 2011 and no involvement in its appointment to conduct the controversial review.

Last month the group said D&F Health Partnership had been chosen for its considerable experience within the health sector and the urgent requirement to start the review of maternity services.

The firm was paid €20,000 plus VAT for its services. It said Mr Daly retired from the firm in December 2011. He was appointed unpaid chairman of the hospital group in June 2012. He resigned as a director of D&F Health Partnership a week later.

Last night, Minister for Health James Reilly thanked Mr Daly for his “considerable work” on behalf on the West North West Hospital Group.

He noted Mr Daly “does not want his reputation nor the reputation of the West North West Hospital Group to be compromised”. The group contains seven hospitals.