Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (451, 453)

Alan Kelly

Question:

451. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the date and times of meetings he and-or his officials had with the national children’s hospital project and programme board since its inception; the persons that attended each meeting; if the minutes of each meeting will be published; if he will publish the correspondence between the board and his Department; if he will publish the minutes of the meetings of the board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5641/19]

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Alan Kelly

Question:

453. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if he will publish the communications between the national paediatric hospital development board; the date and times of all meetings he and-or his officials had with the board; the purpose of these meetings; if he will publish the minutes of each meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5643/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 451 and 453 together.

On foot of my response to the Deputy's earlier Parliamentary Question my Department provided further details of the governance arrangements in place in relation to the Children’s Hospital Project and Programme (CHP&P). As outlined previously, the Children’s Hospital Project and Programme (CHP&P) Board is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Health and membership is comprised of officials from my Department and the HSE as follows: Assistant Secretary of the Acute Hospital Policy Division in the Department of Health, the Director General of the HSE and the HSE Deputy Director General Strategy (DDG). The Project Director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board(NPHDB) also attends CHP&P Board meetings. The CHP&P Board held it's first meeting in September 2017 and monitors the progress of the CHP&P against the agreed parameters of the programme in relation to timeline, scope and funding. The CHP&P Board has met at least every quarter since its establishment 9 Meetings have taken place as follows:

14th September 2017

12th December 2017

17th January 2018

14th March 2018

20th June 2018

19th September 2018

16th November 2018

11th December 2018

18th December 2018

As already requested, the Department has provided the minutes of the meetings to the Deputy; the minutes include attendance details.

In relation to communications with the NPHDB, in addition to CHP&P Board a Children’s Hospital Project and Programme (CHP&P) Steering Group is in place to direct the overall programme of work. Department officials and the NPHDB Project Director are members of the CHP&P Steering Group. The Steering Group reports to the CHP&P Board and the Chair of the CHP&P Steering Group presents a report to the CHP&P Board meetings setting out any issues that need to be considered or decided at CHP&P Board level. The Steering Group was established in May 2017 and has met 15 times to date as follows:

26th May 2017

29th August 2017

20th October 2017

22nd November 2017

25th January 2018

26th February 2018

26th March 2018

23rd April 2018

31st May 2018

25th June 2018

27th August 2018

24th September 2018

22nd October 2018

10th December 2018

17th December 2018

I understand that the HSE has provided minutes of the CHP&P Steering Group meetings to the Deputy; the minutes include attendance details.

From 2014 to 2017 a Steering Group, chaired by the Assistant Secretary, Acute Hospitals Division, reporting to the Secretary General, was in place to oversee, monitor and support the project. The NPHDB Chair and Project Director were members of that Group. That Group met 22 times and minutes of the meetings can be provided to the Deputy if required.

In relation to communication with the NPHDB up to 2014, the Deputy will be aware that the NPHDB was established in 2007 and engagement between the Department and the then NPHDB over that period would have related to the project proposed for the Mater site up to February 2012 when planning permission for that project was refused. The focus in 2012 and 2013 was on progressing the decision of an alternative site and, once made, preparing for the initiation of the project on the St James’s campus. Material relating to meetings between the Department and the NPHDB over that period would be archived and would take some time to retrieve.

In addition to the formal meetings that Department officials and the NPHDB Project Director of the NPHDB attend as outlined above, Department officials engage with the NPHDB on an on-going basis in relation to any relevant issues arising including areas such as ICT, equipping, communication and milestone events organisation. Department officials also engage on an on-going basis with the NPHDB in relation to other NPHDB matters such as NPHDB membership, staffing and annual accounts.