Review makes no adverse findings against St Vincent’s Healthcare

HSE and St Vincent’s disagreed over executive pay, governance and consultants’ rights

Director general of the HSE Tony O’Brien had told the PAC that St Vincent’s Private Hospital had “a parasitic dependence on the adjacent State-funded public hospital”. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Director general of the HSE Tony O’Brien had told the PAC that St Vincent’s Private Hospital had “a parasitic dependence on the adjacent State-funded public hospital”. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

 

Forensic auditors commissioned by the HSE to review financial arrangements within the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group in Dublin have made no adverse findings, The Irish Times understands.

The HSE had commissioned the report following a series of rows with the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which runs the public St Vincent’s University Hospital in Elm Park, the public St Michael’s Hospital in Dún Laoghaire and St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

Disagreements between the HSE and St Vincent’s over recent years centred on executive pay, governance and consultants’ private-practice rights.

Director general of the HSE Tony O’Brien last year told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee that St Vincent’s Private Hospital had “a parasitic dependence on the adjacent State-funded public hospital”.

He said the HSE believed 56 per cent of consultants admitting patients to St Vincent’s Private Hospital did not have any contractual rights to do so. The forensic auditors brought in by the HSE, under their terms of reference, examined public pay policy at the group and the allocation of costs such as electricity and heating across the public and private elements of the group. The auditors made no adverse findings in their report, the HSE and the St Vincent’s Group said yesterday.

Some sources indicated that there could be other phases of the forensic auditor’s work to be undertaken in the future such as in relation to consultants in the public hospitals also working in the private facility and in relation to St Michael’s being used as a charge or security on a mortgage.

The Irish Times reported last May that documents in the Companies Registration Office described St Michael’s Hospital as a charge or security in a mortgage dated December 23rd, 2014, between St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and Bank of Ireland.

St Michael’s Hospital receives about €25 million in funding from the HSE each year and the larger St Vincent’s University Hospital receives some €200 million.

Legal formalities

“This fixed charge has no operational, patient or financial impact on St Michael’s Hospital and regularises the security arrangements across the group.”