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Consultancy services sought at Tallaght

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Serious concerns about a lack of resources to adequately review and analyse services at Tallaght Hospital in the wake of the Hayes Report has resulted in a call for new management consultancy services. IMN has learned that a tender seeking applications from experienced management consultants was advertised last week after the same service, originally provided by management consultants from Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC), was withdrawn due to a lack of finances at the Hospital.

 

Tender documents state that the analysis and review of services at the Hospital was performed by PWC management consultants during much of 2010. PWC conducted a number of studies for the Hospital and in 2009 made a presentation to the Hospital criticising its governance arrangements. However, “the deterioration in finances in 2010 and 2011 forced the withdrawal of this analytical and project management support,” a tender document outlines.

The document goes on to reveal that the Hospital tried to compensate for the withdrawal by transferring individuals to the Performance and Planning Directorate. The Directorate was set up last year in response to deficiencies at the Hospital outlined in PWC reviews carried out following the Hayes inquiry into a backlog of over 56,000 unreported X-rays at the Hospital. The Directorate also attempted to set up a project management training programme to upskill staff in analytical, planning and project management skills. “There remains, however, a competency/skills gap in respect of business intelligence applications, data analysis performance management, and planning skills. “The absence of such skills is now perceived by the Interim Director of Performance and Planning as a key bottleneck within AMNCH [Tallaght].

“To achieve the necessary organisational and process changes required there is a need for a significant number of projects and programmes of work. Already, the burden placed on individuals with scarce but critical skills is a problem.” Mr John O’Connell, Acting CEO at the Hospital, told IMN that the additional need in administration is not impacting patient care and added that the Hospital is fulfilling its data collection requirements. “The Hospital is identifying a pool of talent whose skills might be developed through training, mentorship, programme rotation and other means,” he said. “In the meantime, there remains a role for external management consultancy support for certain critical roles within the Hospital.

 

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