New role will make front-line services more accountable, says HSE

John Connaghan appointed first chief operations officer in restructuring plan

 Key challenge for chief operations officer will be to ensure the delivery of the maximum amount of safe services for patients and other service users. Photograph: Frank Miller

Key challenge for chief operations officer will be to ensure the delivery of the maximum amount of safe services for patients and other service users. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

The newly created post of chief operations officer in the Health Service Executive (HSE) will help make front-line services more accountable, the organisation has said.

John Connaghan, former NHS chief operating officer in Scotland, has been announced as the first occupant of the position.

In a statement, the HSE said one of his functions would be to enable front-line services to “become more integrated, effective, efficient and more directly accountable for the services that they deliver”.

“A key challenge will be to ensure the delivery of the maximum amount of safe services for patients and other service users, strictly within the limits of the resources made available and in the most appropriate way,” it said.

Mr Connaghan joined NHS Scotland in 2006 and subsequently held three chief executive posts among the country’s largest teaching hospitals. He was also interim director general and chief executive of the NHS, accountable for £12.5 billion (€14.6 billion) and 156,000 staff.

One of his tasks was to focus on overall performance and, according to the HSE, he improved elective and unscheduled care waiting times over a 10-year period.

The creation of this HSE role follows a decision to restructure senior management as part of the Programme for Health Service Improvement.

A HSE chief strategy and planning officer will be announced soon. Both officers will also be deputy directors general of the HSE.