Tony O’Brien expresses regret to staff over departure

Outgoing HSE director general addresses staff in video and said he was ‘extremely proud’ of them

Outgoing HSE director general Tony O’Brien said he was “extremely proud” of staff in the State’s health and social care services.

Outgoing HSE director general Tony O’Brien said he was “extremely proud” of staff in the State’s health and social care services.

 

Outgoing director general of the Health Service Executive (HSE) Tony O’Brien has expressed regret to his staff that he could not leave the post on his own terms.

In a statement on Thursday night, Mr O’Brien confirmed his intention was to step down from the position he has held since July 2012 with effect from close of business on Friday. His departure follows criticism of his handling of the cervical cancer scandal.

In a video message to staff posted on the HSE’s Twitter feed, Mr O’Brien told staff it would have been his intention to visit healthcare workers in hospitals and other settings before his departure, but that this would no longer be possible.

“Within the time I’ve worked in the HSE, I’ve had the opportunity to be with many of you delivering care in hospitals, community settings, the ambulance service, all across the country,” he said.

“It would have been my plan, had time permitted, to make some visits like that, before my planned date of departure, in a few weeks time. Sadly, that’s not to be.”

Mr O’Brien said he was “extremely proud” of staff in the State’s health and social care services.

“What I do know, is that the work that you do, your work, your commitment, your care is a vital part of what makes Ireland, Ireland,” he said. “It’s a vital part of our community infrastructure, and I want you to be really proud of everything that you do.

“What’s important now is despite the setback that the health service has experienced is that we all, you all in fact in this case, remain focused on the important work that you do.

“The HSE, the health services, our health service, is delivered by people, by you, for people in Ireland, our own families often, and it is really important that you continue to do the great work that you have been doing in recent years and for which I am so proud of you.”