The Health Service Executive (HSE) has announced that its chief operations officer will leave the organisation in June.

Anne O’Connor, who has been in the role since 2018, has led more than 100,000 staff providing health and social services in community and acute hospital settings in Ireland. 

She was a key figure in managing the health service response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the cyber-attack on the HSE in May 2021.


Having trained and worked as an occupational therapist in the UK, O’Connor has worked in the Irish health service since 1995.

In 2014 she became National Director for Mental Health and in 2018 became National Director of Community Operations responsible for all community-based health and social care services.

O’Connor was appointed as chief operations officer later that year and spent five months as Interim Director General in 2018-2019, pending the permanent filling of the post. 

She will leave her role to become managing director of private health insurer Vhi Health and Wellbeing. 

HSE CEO Paul Reid: “Anne has made an extraordinary contribution to the health service during her time with us.  She has not only led the operations of the health service through a period of great challenge and pressure, but she has done so while retaining an unwavering commitment to high quality and continuous improvement. The HSE is facing into a time of significant change, and the fact that it is in a position to do so with confidence owes an awful lot to Anne’s work.

“She has been a great colleague, and is highly respected and admired throughout the health service. I am very glad that she will be continuing to contribute to healthcare services in Ireland in a very senior role and on behalf of the HSE I want to wish her very well in her new position.”

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