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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 18:40 GMT
Questions over NI hospice review
The Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast
The hospice has been embroiled in controversy
The findings of a review into a dispute at the Northern Ireland Hospice will not have to be implemented, the man leading the project has said.

Sir Graham Hart, a former senior civil servant, is heading up a review team composed of people all from outside Northern Ireland.

The review was organised following a call from the hospice for the Department of Health to initiate an investigation into the internal difficulties it has faced over the last two and a half years.

Tom Hill
Chief Executive Tom Hill has stood down during departmental review
Speaking on Thursday, Sir Graham said the situation at the troubled hospice was unique.

"I haven't come across anything quite like this in the hospice world at all," he said.

"Of course charities do get into difficulties from time to time, but I think this is a particularly unusual, probably unique situation."

The review will examine the organisation's constitution, the concerns of staff members and volunteers, and the resources at the hospice.

It will also consider the circumstances surrounding the suspension and dismissal of Tom Hill from the post of administrative director, and his subsequent appointment as chief executive.

Mr Hill said he would be stepping aside as chief executive to allow the review to be carried out.

Sir Graham said he believed the review would be completed within the six month time frame set out by the health minister.

"We've got an awful lot of aspects to look at but we have got a very good team and the department's provided all the resources we've asked for so far, so I'm pretty optimistic," he said.

Sir Graham said the first stage of the review would look to establish what took place at the hospice over the last few years and what the current situation was.

He said he hoped to publish a document on the main issues within eight weeks and invite the views of interested parties before the review was completed.

See also:

28 Nov 02 | N Ireland
28 Nov 02 | N Ireland
21 Oct 02 | N Ireland
06 Sep 02 | N Ireland
18 Jun 02 | N Ireland
23 May 02 | N Ireland
17 May 01 | N Ireland
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