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The structure of HIQA has to change as a result of the new responsibilities coming under the Authority’s remit, according to its CEO.
At HIQA’s board meeting in March, Mr Phelim Quinn presented on organisational structure and explained the changes he believes are required as the Authority expands to include new functions.
Mr Quinn proposed the establishment of a new structure, which would include a chief operating officer (COO) and a director of healthcare.
Business cases for the two posts were submitted to the Department of Health (DoH) in February.
“The board having reviewed the organisational structure in light of the new functions and proposed growth, emphasised the importance of having a director with strong human resources experience and expertise,” according to the minutes, seen by the Medical Independent (MI).
It was noted that a submission for a COO was made to the Department in 2012, but there was no progress with the appointment.
“There was strong agreement that there needs to be a robust corporate and business support function as the organisation continues to expand,” according to the minutes.
It was agreed that the matter should be raised with the Minister for Health Simon Harris in his next meeting with Mr Quinn and the Chairperson Mr Pat O’Mahony.
“It should also be raised with the Secretary General of the DoH when the next meeting occurs,” the minutes stated.
A spokesperson for HIQA told MI that the Authority continues to engage with the Department on the need to create the posts.
“HIQA’s Corporate Plan 2019-2021 outlines an ambitious agenda for the organisation, and allows for the expansion of our remit as set out in proposed legislation, including the Patient Safety Bill and the Patient Safety (Licensing) Bill,” according to the spokesperson.
“In addition, in January of this year HIQA commenced the regulation of medical exposure to ionising radiation. In order to deliver on our objectives to 2021 and beyond, an enhanced role for both HIQA’s healthcare and operations teams is necessary as the organisation continues to expand. These future expansions along with recent increase in functions mean that HIQA’s staffing levels have increased along with the need for additional demands on support functions – it is on that basis that HIQA also seeks a COO.”