Online profile of HSE’s Tony O’Brien changed ahead of committee appearance

HSE director general’s LinkedIn profile changed after HSE complaint about article

Tony O’Brien’s LinkedIn page said he was “director, clinical strategy and programmes, HSE from May 2011 to March 2012”. It was then changed to say that he was as director of clinical strategy and programmes from May 2011 to September 2011, not March 2012 (right).

Tony O’Brien’s LinkedIn page said he was “director, clinical strategy and programmes, HSE from May 2011 to March 2012”. It was then changed to say that he was as director of clinical strategy and programmes from May 2011 to September 2011, not March 2012 (right).

 

HSE director general Tony O’Brien’s LinkedIn profile has been changed, just hours before a high-profile appearance before the Oireachtas health committee about the Portlaoise hospital baby deaths.

Mr O’Brien’s entry on the well-known social media site has been changed in respect of his duties with the HSE in the 2011/2012 period.

The change was made after The Irish Times brought the entry to the attention of his media advisors this morning.

The HSE had earlier complained about an article published by this newspaper about representations made by senior doctors for more staff and services at Portlaoise in 2011.

Mr O’Brien’s press adviser Paul Connors said the article was incorrect in stating that he worked for the HSE at this time. It was also incorrect in referring to him as HSE director of clinical programmes, the title used in relation to him in the document.

As a result, the article was amended to reflect this.

It subsequently emerged that Mr O’Brien’s LinkedIn page said he was “director, clinical strategy and programmes, HSE from May 2011 to March 2012”. It said he was “working alongside in a co-leadership capacity and in support of Dr Barry White, the founder of the national clinical programmes”.

When this was raised with Mr Connors, he said it was incorrect and said Mr O’Brien left the HSE to work with the Department of Health on September 1st 2011. The representations made by staff for more staff at Portlaoise dates from November 2011.

Mr O’Brien’s LinkedIn page was then changed to say that he was as director of clinical strategy and programmes from May 2011 to September 2011, not March 2012.

Mr O’Brien is expected to face a grilling from TDs and Senators when he appears before the committee this afternoon.