A towering figure in women’s health services

Pauline Treanor, who has just retired as General Manager of the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin following 18 years working in the hospital– the oldest continually operating maternity hospital in the world – has been a towering figure in the strategic and operational development of nursing, midwifery and women’s health services over the last quarter century, writes Maureen Browne.

Pauline Treanor
Pauline Treanor

A native of Monaghan she trained as a nurse and midwife. She worked in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Ireland before coming to the Rotunda as Director of Midwifery and Nursing.

She holds an MBA in Health and Social Care from the University of Ulster, a professional diploma in corporate governance from the Smurfit School in UCD and is a Council Member of the HMI.

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She began work in the Rotunda in 2001 as Director of Midwifery and Nursing and then changed roles in 2008 to Secretary/General Manager and has been involved with the RCSI Hospital Group since it was established.

She has a long-standing commitment to education, training and staff development.  She was involved in the development of the Direct Entry to Midwifery Education Pilot Programme, later was a member of the national curriculum team for the undergraduate midwifery degree programme and with the other two maternity hospitals and the RCSI developed the postgraduate diploma in neonatal nursing.

She has a long-standing commitment to education, training and staff development.

Pauline oversaw the development of the first Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in Ireland, established a leadership development programme for Rotunda staff with the RCSI to support the implementation of the Rotunda’s strategic plan was involved in the development of the national sexual assault forensic examination programme.

From left Margaret Philbin the Director of Midwifery and Nursing, Rotunda Hospital, Pauline Treanor and Professor Fergal Malone Master of the Rotunda
From left Margaret Philbin the Director of Midwifery and Nursing, Rotunda Hospital, Pauline Treanor and Professor Fergal Malone Master of the Rotunda

She pioneered the development of community midwifery services in the Rotunda and the midwifery and nursing specialist role within the hospital – the Rotunda was the first Dublin maternity hospital to achieve baby friendly accreditation.

She was involved in ISAB accreditation 2005 when the Rotunda got hospital wide pre-accreditation status. She supported the laboratory accreditation which was initially provided by the UK’s Clinical Pathology Accreditation and more recently by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB).  She oversaw the implementation of the Maternal & Neonatal -Clinical Management System (MN-CMS) IN THE Rotunda in November 2017.

One of her major challenges was overcoming staff shortages and financial constraints during the Rotunda’s busiest times during the economic recession.

She was involved in setting up of various clinical services in the Rotunda, including Community Midwifery, the Early Pregnancy Unit, The Colposcopy Unit and the Connolly Hysteroscopy Clinic.

It is unlikely that corporate Ireland will waste any time before availing of her expertise in so many areas.

At a corporate level, Pauline has been involved in administrative support to the Rotunda Board and all its committees, in developing and implementing three strategic plans for the hospital, led in the development of an internal audit function and supported board to ensure compliance with good governance standards

Pauline was a leading figure in capital developments in the Rotunda, including the neonatal unit, in-patient wards, a new emergency and assessment unit, new front reception, the development of the colposcopy unit in line with national standard, the re-development of the Sexual Assault Treatment unit on two occasions and improvements to the lab and the pharmacy.  She was also deeply involved in the redevelopment plans for the Rotunda, firstly to tri-locate with the Mater and the National Children’s Hospital and more recently to co-locate at Connolly Hospital.

She was a member of the steering group that saw the development of the national maternity strategy, a member of the national project board for the MN-CMS, a member of the Voluntary Healthcare Risk Management Forum and a member of the Joint Standing Committee of the three Dublin maternity hospitals,

She has also taken part in a reviews of nursing and midwifery services in Qatar and Croatia.

She is a former member of an Bord Altranais and former Chair of its Fitness to Practise Committee.  She is currently a member and chair of The Medical Scientists Registration Board with CORU.  She also collaborated with the Railway Procurement Agency on Metro North and the Broombridge Luas programme.

She said: “I am totally committed to the development of standards and facilities in maternity care to support and enhance women’s experiences and the education and development of all staff who work in the services.

“What I have liked most about my career to date is working with teams and developing strategies and services in collaboration with people.

“What I have liked least has been the constant battle to get adequate resources.”

Pauline is already engaged in further studies and unsurprisingly has number of projects mind.   She also wants to do some voluntary work, particularly in relation to homeless services and spend more time visiting family and friends in Monaghan and the US.

It is unlikely that corporate Ireland will waste any time before availing of her expertise in so many areas.