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Press Release

National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services – First meeting of Steering Group

Published: 31 January 2018
From: Department of Health

The Steering Group for the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services met today, 31st January. The National Review, which is chaired by Professor Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University, will seek to advance a modern, safe cardiac service for the Irish adult citizen.

The focus of today’s agenda was on establishing the work programme of the National Review.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, said:

“I am delighted that this important review is under way. I am committed to ensuring that all Irish citizens have access to safe, high quality and evidence based care, which is in line with international norms. Given the considerable expertise of the members of the Steering Group, I am confident that the National Review will be comprehensive and of the highest quality standard.”

The Chair of the Steering Group, Professor Philip Nolan, said:

“Today’s meeting is an important first step in what will be a very significant piece of work. I’m pleased with the discussion that took place and I believe we’ve made a very solid start.”

A summary of all meetings and related documents will be published on the Department of Health website.


Notes to the Editor:


Professor Philip Nolan has been President of Maynooth University for the past 6 years where he has led strategic development that has advanced research capacity and transformed undergraduate curricula. He is currently President of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and Chair of the IUA’s Task Group on Reform of University Selection and Entry.

Professor Philip Nolan’s academic career, which includes a PhD and various scientific research accolades, point to a strong commitment to methodological rigour in generating evidence. This followed a primary degree in Physiology in 1988 and the medical degrees of MB BCh BAO in 1991 from University College Dublin (UCD). Professor Nolan then spent a short time in medical practice so understands the health service and the need to use and apply data and evidence to optimise patient outcomes. In 1996 Professor Nolan joined the staff of University College Dublin, where he received both the UCD President’s Research and Teaching Awards. He led the development of UCD’s Health Sciences Centre, which opened in 2005, and was Director of the UCD Conway Institute from 2003-2004. Professor Nolan was appointed Registrar and Deputy President of UCD in 2004, where he continued to lead developments until his appointment to Maynooth.

Steering Group

The Steering Group is comprised of 15 members (in addition to the Chair), consisting of patients, relevant health professionals, senior HSE management and senior departmental officials. Collectively, the Group has expertise in clinical provision, service management, service policy, clinical effectiveness and patient safety, public health and patient experience.

The list of members is available on our website.


The aim of the National Review is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive by establishing the need for an optimal configuration of a national adult cardiac service. In terms of scope, the National Review will cover scheduled and unscheduled hospital-based services for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease in adults.


The National Review will conduct its business by: generating key questions on which rigorous systematic reviews of the evidence will be undertaken using internationally recognised methodology; consulting with the public and relevant stakeholders – including a call for submissions; identifying international best practice; carrying out a number of site visits; and, analysing data on existing services and populations. In addition, an International Reference Panel comprised of international experts will be formed to provide independent peer review for the process. The Committee will in general meet monthly.

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