Working life: Dr Peter Greally, consultant respiratory paediatrician

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


An early start means my three sons Harry (20), Freddie (18) and Charlie (15) are still asleep when I depart for work. 


My week is divided between clinical work — clinics, reading sleep studies, bronchoscopies or managing children with cystic fibrosis —and clinical director duties associated with leading the clinical integration of the three children’s hospitals.


Today the focus is on the children’s hospital project. There are myriad meetings associated with this role, beginning this morning with a meeting of the integration executive committee which includes the CEOs of the three children’s hospitals. Operational issues are top of the agenda. 

We look at cross-hospital solutions to problems that arise and we examine how cross-hospital working can be improved. 

I am tasked with ensuring that clinical operations are standardised across the group before the new hospital opens [on the site of St James’s Hospital in Dublin].

Given there are 39-sub specialties across three sites, there’s much work to be done. We have to ensure that we are all working with the same protocols and procedures so we have a smooth transition when we move in 2021. 

The new hospital will be the hub in a national paediatric network where children receive the same quality of care irrespective of the geographic location.


Discussions shift to the satellite clinics, an integral part of the new children’s hospital. Based in Connolly Hospital and Tallaght, they are scheduled to open in 2018/2019. 

The two urgent care centres will allow children with minor illness and injuries to be treated locally. Most common conditions can be managed that way.


We have a meeting around activity-based funding, which is essentially ‘money following the patient’.


More meetings — first one to discuss how to improve patient access to allergy services. We’ve only one whole time children’s allergist in Dublin, so there’s a long waiting list for appointments.


The evening meal gets everyone around the table for a catch-up. My wife, Rosemary is a dermatologist so her schedule is also pretty hectic. 

I generally like to go for a run, cycle or do a cross-fit class. 

I relax before bed by watching a little TV but I try to avoid medical dramas — I deal with plenty during the day.

* Dr Peter Greally. consultant respiratory paediatrician, National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght & Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin & group clinical director with the Children’s Hospital Group (CHG).


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