The “importance” of recruiting a research manager and developing a research strategy for the National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) was raised at an NCRI board meeting.
According to minutes of the September 2022 meeting of the NCRI board, the “need for a research manager” was highlighted in a peer review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which was conducted in 2022.
The issue was also raised by Dr Gabriel Scally after he visited the NCRI in March last year.
In October 2022, Dr Scally published the final progress review of the implementation of the recommendations from his scoping inquiry into the CervicalCheck screening programme.
“The NCRI traditionally had a resource to lead out on the research function, but the post was not filled following the resignation of the most recent research manager in early 2020,” according to the NCRI board minutes.
“The need for a research manager was mentioned in both the IARC peer review and the review by Dr Gabriel Scally…. The board also emphasised that re-instating this post is key in order to develop the NCRI research function.”
The minutes stated that during his visit in March 2022, Dr Scally “expressed concerns about the NCRI’s resource levels and the NCRI took these concerns into account when submitting 2023 estimates to the DoH [Department of Health], requesting additional registration, data integration, and research posts”.
An NCRI spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that the board “is currently scoping out the research manager role in advance of submitting a business plan to the Department of Health”.
“Recruitment to the post is subject to approval of the business plan, including the related budget.”
Separately, the September minutes also noted the failure to find a suitable candidate to fill a vacancy on the board that required “expertise in data collection, processing, and analysis”. The failed recruitment campaign took place in February to April 2022.
However, the NCRI’s spokesperson told MI that the position had since been filled.
“The NCRI board is delighted to welcome the Ministerial appointment of Mr Niall Murphy as a board member,” said the spokesperson.
“[Mr Murphy] brings a wealth of experience with over 25 years’ international experience in the technology and digital transformation area across all industries including healthcare.”