Coombe hospital advertises for post of master/chief executive

Outgoing head Sharon Sheehan was second woman to hold position of master in any hospital

The Coombe began providing abortion services last month after calling for a delay in introducing the procedure. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Coombe began providing abortion services last month after calling for a delay in introducing the procedure. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Coombe hospital in Dublin is seeking a new head as the existing master, Dr Sharon Sheehan, completes her seven-year term this year.

One of the largest maternity hospitals in the State, the Coombe has advertised to fill the post of master/chief executive officer from next January.

Dr Sheehan is the second woman to hold the post of master in any hospital, after Dr Rhona Mahony at the National Maternity Hospital, whose term finished at the end of last year.

In contrast to Dr Mahony, Dr Sheehan was a low-key hospital boss who stayed out of the limelight for the most part.

Last December, she called for a delay in the planned introduction of abortion, scheduled for January 1st this year, saying the hospital was not ready and the measure was being rushed. The Coombe eventually began providing abortion services last month.

A Dubliner, she trained at UCD and worked in all three Dublin maternity hospitals and in the UK before her appointment as 30th master of the Coombe in 2012.

In 2017, her salary was reported as €218,715, inclusive of a master’s allowance, plus an on-call allowance of €10,550.

Established in 1826, the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital is a voluntary institution that delivers about 9,000 babies a year as well as carrying out almost 5,000 gynaecology operations.

In the long term, it is planned the hospital will move alongside the new national children’s hospital site being built at St James’s but doubts have been expressed as to whether there is enough room at this site for the maternity hospital.