St Vincent’s Healthcare Group criticise “untruthful allegations” by Dr Peter Boylan

The former master of the National Maternity Hospital says he was asked to resign

St Vincent’s Healthcare Group criticise “untruthful allegations” by Dr Peter Boylan

St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin - the same campus where the new Maternity Hospital will be built | Image:

The board of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group have responded to what they call “continued misinformation and untruthful allegations” by former master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Peter Boylan.

It says this in the light of comments from by Dr Boylan, who continues to state that nuns will interfere with the governance of the new hospital.

Dr Boylan also claims he was asked to step down after he criticised the plan to build the new facility at a site owned by the Sisters of Charity.

St Vincent’s Healthcare Group has reiterated that the new National Maternity Hospital will have clinical independence.

It says this will be enshrined in the "memorandum and articles of the new hospital."

In a statement, the group says: "The primary concern of the Board of Directors of SVHG and of the Chartered Trust of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) is the delivery of a modern maternity and neonatal service that is women and infant centred and which is safe and world class.

"The National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park, DAC, will deliver such a facility for the women of Ireland."

Health Minister Simon Harris has welcomed confirmation by the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of this State will be carried out at the new hospital.

He says the boards of both hospitals are meeting this week and will review progress to date.

Minister Harris and his officials will arrange meetings with the two hospitals shortly and that he intends to report to Government on this project at the end of May.

Meanwhile the agreement between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group has been published.

It includes an outline of the clinical governance structure of the hospital.


'No religious or ethnic distinction'

A memorandum and articles of association state that the principal objectives of the National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park will be:

  • "To provide a range of  health services by the establishment and operation of a new maternity, obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatal hospital at Elm Park, Dublin, in succession to the objectives and services and heretofore provided by the current NMH establishment and operated by the Chartered Trust (1903).
  • "To provide a range of health services in the community as heretofore, such operation and provision to be conducted in accordance with the newly agreed clinical governance arrangements for the National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park… providing as far as possible, by whatever manner and means from time to time available, for the health, happiness and welfare of those accepted as patients, without religious or ethnic or other distinction and by supporting the work of all involved in the delivery of care to such patients and their families or guardians, including research or investigation which may further such work".

The board also says the autonomy of the board of the hospital in specific clinical and operational matters will be further enhanced with provisions in the memorandum and articles of association for agreed exclusive “Reserve Powers” to be provided to the board.

It says these powers will ensure “clinical and operational independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology, obstetrics and neonatal services (without religious, ethnic or other distinction) in the hospital at Elm Park, Dublin and the provision of medical, surgical, nursing, midwifery and other health services at Elm Park, Dublin, including strategic planning in relation to the development of such services in the future in accordance with best practice”.

The group adds that continuing to suggest procedures currently undertaken at the hospital will not be available in the new maternity hospital is "entirely false and without foundation".