Newly appointed Regional Executive Officer of HSE South West, Dr Andy Phillips. Photo: Brian Lougheed

New head of health services for Cork

The creation of a new powerful role which will oversee HSE operations in Cork and Kerry represents a great opportunity to reform services and address issues with staff morale.

That’s according to Social Democrats County Cllr Liam Quaide who has welcomed the appointment of Dr Andy Phillips to the newly created role of Regional Executive Officer of HSE South West.

Dr Phillips, a consultant clinical scientist by training, will oversee both the South/South West Hospital Group and Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare Organisation.

Referring to a video address to HSE staff by Dr Phillips, Cllr Quaide said: “Dr Phillips' video address to staff suggests an attitude of openness, humility, and commitment to change. He wrote to elected reps with a similar message and tone. I look forward to meeting him.”

In his address to staff, which was posted on the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare YouTube channel, Dr Phillips said: “I’m really keen that we have a values-led


“The first thing I want to do is make sure we all have great pride in the health services that we provide and that the people of Cork and Kerry can themselves be proud of the health services that are delivered to them. In order to do that, what I’d like us to do is think about the quality of care provided.

“When I think about the quality of care provided, I think about services that are safe, they’re timely, they’re equitable, they’re effective, they’re person-centered, and they’re productive,” added Dr Phillips.

He went on to say that he wants to see is that everyone who works in the health system in Cork and Kerry has a great experience of work.

Dr Phiilips also highlighted the importance of compassion in providing health care services.

“Without compassion I think we move away from the reason we all got into health care in the first place,” said the doctor.

“It’s been a long time for me since I started in health care, but I always wanted to make a difference and I wanted to make a difference by being kind. Mindful kindness is really important to me.”

Over the next few months, Dr Phillips will recruit a team, partnering with current managers and with the HSE, which he will lead in establishing the new HSE South West region.

In a letter to elected representatives in Cork and Kerry, Dr Phillips, a native of Wales, said: “I do speak a little Welsh, but will need to learn Gaelic, but the most apt saying for me at the moment is, ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’, reminding me that we can find strength in unity.”