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New face at top of HPSC and HSE Public Health

The current Interim Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) Dr John Cuddihy will be supporting Dr Lorraine Doherty when she soon takes up her new role as National Clinical Director, Health Protection in the HSE, this newspaper has learned. Dr Cuddihy will no longer be Interim Director but continue in his role as HSE Director of Public Health.

Last Friday this newspaper reported that Dr Doherty will soon take up the position as National Clinical Director, Health Protection in the HSE, which will also include running the HPSC.

The HPSC is an organisation playing an important role in the State’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As previously reported in the Medical Independent (MI), the HSE had conducted four recruitment drives (the first three unsuccessful) to recruit a Director in recent years. There has been no full-time Director since Dr Darina O’Flanagan retired from the post in May 2016.

“Dr Lorraine Doherty in her new role will be in charge of the HPSC and the health protection service,” a HSE spokesperson clarified to MI this week.

“Dr Cuddihy, as a Director of Public Health, will be supporting Dr Doherty in her role.”

Last week the HSE said that, “following a recent recruitment campaign, Dr Lorraine Doherty has been offered and has accepted the role of National Clinical Director, Health Protection in the HSE.”

“Dr Doherty will be taking up this role shortly.

“Dr Lorraine Doherty has most recently been the Clinical Director of CervicalCheck where she played a vital role in bringing stability to the programme.

“Prior to this Dr Doherty has held numerous senior leadership roles in the Department of Health, Northern Ireland. She was a Deputy Chief Medical Officer, leading on all policy and strategy for health protection and public health and she also worked in the Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland, where she was the strategic lead for health protection and head of the first ever Northern Ireland Health Protection Service.”

Dr Cuddihy was appointed as Interim Director of  the HPSC in July 2019.  

 “Dr Cuddihy is the international focal point for Covid-19 response in Ireland,” the HSE spokesperson told MI.

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