Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has called on the Minister for Health to provide assurances about the independent clinical governance of the new National Maternity Hospital.

Deputy Shortall said: “It is reassuring to learn that the Department of Health is close to finalising an agreement that means the new hospital building will be owned by the State.

“This policy reversal is to be welcomed, given the overwhelming public unease about the department’s original plan to hand over a public asset valued at €300 million to a private company.

“What is needed now are assurances from Minister Simon Harris that any final agreement between St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the Department of Health will fully guarantee the independent clinical governance of the new hospital.

“The department says that the new facility will be ‘operated’ by the National Maternity Hospital. This must mean that the National Maternity Hospital entirely controls its own operation in terms of corporate governance, protocols for clinical decision making, and procedures offered to patients.”

ENDS

1 September 2017