Board meeting minutes

HSE board meeting minutes 20 December 2023

A Special meeting of the Board of the Health Service Executive Wednesday 20 December 2023 via video conference.

Published: December 2023

Updated: May 2024

Meeting details

A Special meeting of the Board of the Health Service Executive was held on Wednesday 20 December 2023 at 16:30 via video conference.

Present: Mr Ciarán Devane (Chairperson), Prof Deirdre Madden (Deputy Chairperson), Mr Brendan Whelan, Mr Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, Mr Fergus Finlay, Ms Anne Carrigy, Mr Tim Hynes and Dr Sarah McLoughlin, Prof Fergus O’Kelly, Ms Michelle O’Sullivan and Mr Matt Walsh


Dr Yvonne Traynor

In Attendance for Board Meeting:

Mr Bernard Gloster (CEO), Mr Brian Murphy, (Head of Corporate Affairs), Ms Niamh Drew (Deputy Corporate Secretary), Ms Patricia Perry (Office of the Board)

Joined the meeting:

Mr Stephen Mulvany (CFO), Mr Damien McCallion (COO), Mr Patrick Lynch (A/CSO), Dr Colm Henry (CCO), Ms Anne Marie Hoey, (ND HR), Mr Mark Brennock (ND Communications), Mr Joseph Duggan (ND IA), Dr Philip Crowley (ND Strategy & Research), Mr David Walsh (ND Community Operations), Ms Mary Day (ND Acute Op), Mr Liam Woods (National Director Health Regions Programme), Mr John Ward (CTTO), Ms Miin Alikhan (AND Strategic Planning and Reporting), Mr Paul de Freine (ND Capital & Estates)

Minutes reflect the order in which items were considered and are numbered in accordance with the original agenda. All performance/activity data used in this document refers to the latest information available at the time.

Meeting minutes

Governance and Administration

1.1 Declarations of Interest

No conflicts of interest were declared.

1.2 Chairperson’s Remarks

The Chairperson welcomed Board members, CEO, Executive Management Team (EMT) and HSE officials to the meeting and noted that the meeting had been convened to consider the final draft National Service Plan 2024 (NSP), the Capital Plans - Building & Equipment and eHealth & ICT in advance of their adoption.

National Service Plan 2024

2.1 Final Draft National Service Plan 2024 including Capital Plans 2024 (Building & Equipment and eHealth & ICT)

Board members considered with the CEO and accompanying EMT members the following draft documentation which had been circulated in advance of the meeting:

  • National Service Plan 2024,
  • Capital Plan 2024 - Building and Equipment 2024,
  • eHealth & ICT Capital Plan 2024.

The CEO presented to the Board the final draft NSP 2024 and Capital Plans 2024 which are to be submitted in line with legislation to the Minister for Health and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth within 21 days of receipt of the Letters of Determination (LoD).

The Board were advised that the draft NSP 2024 had been prepared in a particularly challenging financial and operational context, and has been developed with significant input from the Board’s Sub Committees.

The Chair of the Planning & Performance Committee advised the Board that draft 2 post-LoD NSP 2024 was considered by the Committee at the meeting of 14 December 2023. The CEO advised that based on the Committee’s feedback, and feedback received from the Board at its meeting of 15 December 2023, along with feedback received from the DoH and DCEDIY on 18 December 2023, the final draft of NSP 2024 was now being presented for adoption by the Board.

The CEO advised the Board that the planning team sought to ensure that the draft NSP appropriately responds to both the Minister for Health and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth’s Letters of Determination. The draft NSP seeks to demonstrate continuing progress with key reforms, with a particular focus in 2024 on addressing challenges within Urgent and Emergency Care and tackling waiting lists. It was highlighted that particular issues and risks in 2024 in relation to the financial context within which the Plan has been prepared and the continuing workforce challenges are clearly signalled within the final draft NSP.

Board members discussed the overall financial challenges in an ongoing uncertain environment, with €23.5bn provided to operate the health services in 2024, and €2.8bn of that being provided by DCEDIY in respect of specialist disability services. The Board highlighted that the cost of running existing services at current levels over the next twelve months will be a significant challenge in the context of the total funding available to the health service in 2024.

The Board highlighted that focus will be required on productivity in terms of delivering additional activity from better use of the resources we have to further meet the needs of the people we serve. The importance of capturing the principles which will enable staff to deliver on the productivity challenge, noting that there are significant operational challenges and working environments that need to be managed appropriately without over-burdening existing staff.

The Chairs of the Audit & Risk Committee and Technology & Transformation Committee provided an update to the Board in relation to the Capital Plan 2024 (Building & Equipment and eHealth & ICT), which were brought to their respective Committees, and advised that both Plans were endorsed.

The Board agreed to adopt the National Service Plan 2024, Capital Plan 2024 for Buildings and Equipment and eHealth & ICT Capital Plan 2024 for submission to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth for approval.

Decision No.: 201223/84

Any other business and close

There was no further business. The meeting concluded at 5.25pm.

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