Board of Central Remedial Clinic resigns with immediate effect

Friday 13 December 2013 21.41
Board members of the CRC, Friends and Supporters of the CRC, CRC Medical Devices and Care Trust have all resigned
Board members of the CRC, Friends and Supporters of the CRC, CRC Medical Devices and Care Trust have all resigned

The members of the Board of Governors of the Central Remedial Clinic have all resigned with immediate effect.

Board members who were also directors of Friends and Supporters of CRC, CRC Medical Devices or The Care Trust have also resigned these positions with immediate effect.

The HSE has appointed an interim administrator to the CRC.

Public Accounts Committee Chairman John McGuinness has said he hopes the former CRC board members will continue to make themselves available to the PAC until its investigation into salary top-ups is complete.

Commenting on the resignation of the board this evening, Mr McGuinness said it was expected given the public pressure they were put under this week.

However, he said that he had hoped they would not resign until the investigation was completed.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the analysis and engagement of the PAC with the CRC board left nobody in any doubt about what should be done.

Board members were questioned by the PAC about a number of issues, including the use of public donations to top-up salaries for executives.

Independent TD Shane Ross, a member of the PAC, said today is a good day for the CRC, particularly its staff, who have had a very tough time.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, he said the process of restoring confidence, which is very badly needed, can now begin.

Mr Ross said he expects that the outgoing board members will come before future sessions of the PAC.

He said public confidence must be restored and to achieve this transparency is needed across the entire sector. 

St Vincent's Healthcare Group considering board make-up

Meanwhile, St Vincent's Healthcare Group says it is considering whether it is acceptable that the four directors of the St Vincent's Foundation are also on the board of directors of the group.

In a statement today dealing with a series of queries raised by Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, who is a member of the PAC, the hospital said that in light of recent developments it feels it is a reasonable question and it will consider the issue.

Mr Harris says that he is now asking the PAC to investigate the issue.

The hospital said it must be emphasised that no director of the foundation is remunerated for being a director.

It also said all money raised by the foundation is directed towards healthcare.

When asked what directors' remuneration “for other services” of €554,377 in the 2011 accounts related to, the hospital said it related to the salaries for Group CEO Nicholas Jermyn and two consultant clinicians, Michael Keane and Diarmuid O'Donoghue.

It said no directors, including staff members, receive any remuneration for their role as directors.

Asked if St Vincent's was in compliance with the 'one person, one salary' requirement of the Government's pay policy, the St Vincent's Healthcare Group said it had replied to the HSE on a "private and confidential" basis in relation to the HR circular on pay policy.

Separately, it has emerged that St Vincent's Healthcare Group Ltd was subjected to penalties after it filed its annual returns for 2011 and 2012 late.

The Companies Registration Office said the 2011 return for the company was filed late and was not received until 23 December 2011.

It said the company was subjected to late filing penalties as a result.

The Companies Registration Office said the company's return for 2012, containing the 2011 accounts, was due on 30 September 2012 and was also filed late.

The office said it was not received by the CRO until 11 November 2013 and the company has in this case had the maximum late filing penalty of €1,200 applied.

Asked why the 2012 annual returns were only submitted to the CRO in recent weeks, St Vincent’s Hospital Group said it was awaiting the completion of its discussions with the HSE in relation to what it said were the accumulated deficits in respect of the Voluntary Hospitals Superannuation Scheme and completion of separate discussions with Bank of Ireland so that a complete picture could be presented.

In the organisation's accounts for the year ending 2011, the auditors state that the financial statements do not include the pension costs, pension liabilities and pension assets of those staff who are members of the Voluntary Hospitals Superannuation Scheme as required by Financial Reporting Standard.

It says "the financial statements do not give a true and fair view in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice in Ireland".

But in a statement this evening, the St Vincent’s University Hospital & St Michael's Hospital Group said its accounts were exempted from having to comply with the Financial Reporting Standard 17.

It said accounts continue to be qualified in relation to technical compliance with FRS 17 in relation to the public sector pension scheme operated in the group's two public hospitals because the accounts have been prepared as directed by the Minister for Health/DOHC and not in strict compliance with FRS 17.

This qualification is replicated in other health bodies with similar pension arrangements and was noted in the Comptroller and Auditor General's 2009 report on public sector pensions.

The CRO 2013 annual return is also overdue. It will have the 2012 accounts.  The company said it will be filed shortly

The Department of Health said that the Government had liability for the pension scheme.