Established in 1879, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services (OLH&CS) is a 200-bed Leinster based registered charity that provides specialist care for those with a wide range of needs from rehabilitation to end-of-life care.  Just over 600 staff and 330 volunteers work with residents, patients and their families at a most difficult time in their lives. Person-centred care is provided both on-site in Harold’s Cross Hospice and Blackrock Hospice as well as in people’s own homes across south Dublin and north Wicklow, a catchment area of almost a million people.

We care for over 4,000 patients and their families every year as well as provide over 11,000 specialist palliative homecare visits. We celebrate our 140th anniversary in 2019 and when Wicklow Hospice opens in 2019/2020 it will also fall under our governance.

Governance issue(s) addressed

Since 2016, OLH&CS has commissioned and participated in a number of independent financial controls and compliance reviews to improve our governance framework.

We have accepted and worked systematically through all findings and recommendations, taken decisive action were necessary and implemented a robust and comprehensive range of new financial management processes and policies. We have worked actively, and co-operated fully, with all relevant regulatory bodies.

As an organisation, OLH&CS takes all governance and compliance matters raised extremely seriously and the Management and Board of Directors have responded to enhance procedures to ensure best practice, compliance, governance, transparency and the highest standards possible.

We have also put in place checks and balances to ensure best practice corporate and clinical governance as well as a revised Board structure to provide oversight and assurance.

Actions taken


  • Procurement Policy reviewed


  • On-going Management review of procedures and processes
  • Board Governance Review
  • Financial controls review
  • Accounts Payable standard operating procedure
  • Bank and Cash standard operating procedure
  • Independent investigation commissioned
  • New procurement policy launched
  • Internal Audit function launched
  • Legacy policy launched
  • Expenses policy launched


  • On-going Management review of procedures and processes
  • Public Fundraising Expenditure Committee established
  • Fraud and corruption policy launched
  • Credit card policy launched

Impact for the organisation

As an organisation, OLH&CS is committed to transparency and continuous and on-going improvement. We continue on this journey of reviewing our practices and taking corrective action to achieve compliance with charity regulations and codes of governance for state bodies.