The Dublin Well Woman Centre CLG is governed by a Board of Directors, which has strategic oversight of Well Woman. The Board sets our direction and priorities, and ensures the organisation is effective and accountable. Board members give their time voluntarily and are not remunerated. The Chief Executive, Alison Begas, reports to the Board, and runs the organisation on a day-to-day basis.
The Board meets a minimum of six times during the year, and meetings focus on the overall purpose and direction of the Dublin Well Woman Centre, ensuring the charity is financially sound, and scrutinising progress reports from the Chief Executive and Medical Director. There is also a Finance Committee which comprises of the Chairwoman, two Finance Accountants (both are members of the Board of Directors), the Chief Executive and Finance Manager, who meet regularly through the year, and report to the Board of Directors. The Dublin Well Woman Centre CLG is a limited-liability company. It has charitable status (CHY6123), and is registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority (Registration Number 20010355).
The Dublin Well Woman Centre CLG has two different Section 39 Service Level Agreements with the HSE – these are for our medical card service in Coolock, and for crisis pregnancy counselling and after-abortion counselling across the three clinics. We are registered smear-takers in CervicalCheck, the national cervical screening programme, which provides women aged 25 – 60 with regular, free cervical screening tests. We comply with standards and reporting requirements in all our funding. In addition to this, we charge for provision of healthcare services to women and men in our three clinics. We keep our charges under constant review. Our aim is that our services remain at the cutting edge of women’s health in primary care, that they are delivered with excellence and integrity, and that they are affordable. We do not engage in fundraising.
The arrival of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, along with national lockdown and travel restrictions, had a serious impact on our clinic revenue. For several months (March through June 2020) we were only able to provide certain services via telemedecine. We were able to use the Government’s Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for a number of employees for the months April – August 2020, and also received once-off funding under the POBAL Stability Fund for NGOs.
Along with most other charities and businesses, and in the years immediately following the economic crash of 2008, the Dublin Well Woman Centre saw a decline in government funding and service income, along with a decrease in the ability of individuals to pay for services.
After initially restructuring our clinics during 2010–11, along with a small number of redundancies, we implemented pay cuts of 6–9% in January 2012. This was necessary to ensure we could continue to provide services. Following a lengthy period of stabilisation, two-thirds (66%) of the pay-cut was restored during 2017, with the final one third being restored in 2018. We have also cut overhead costs where possible – a process which is ongoing.
In early 2015 we embarked on a more significant restructuring of our clinic opening hours. We moved to having one Operations Manager overseeing the three clinics. These steps have ensured that we can continue to provide our important healthcare services to women. This strong approach to our finances by senior management and the Board’s Finance Committee ensured that Well Woman remained open during a challenging period.
With the start of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, we moved some of our services to a telemedecine delivery model for the months March through June 2020, a period which coincided with the first national lockdown and severe restrictions on travel. Some services could not be provided due to decisions at HSE-level, for example the CervicalCheck screening programme, which was put on pause for this period. With the gradual re-opening of society and the economy, we restored in-clinic service delivery during Summer 2020, though at reduced numbers.
Our 2021 audited accounts are now available for download.
LIST OF BOARD MEMBERS 2023
- Jan Richards (Chairwoman)
- Breena Cooper
- Karen Griffin
- Sue Cloran
- Samantha Barnett
Jan Richards (Chairwoman)
Jan is Head of Insights and Planning at Dublin Airport where she is responsible for managing the Dublin Airport brand and for the research programme.
Breena is Creative Director with Drury Porter Novelli Public Relations; her particular expertise is in devising Consumer PR strategies, as well as in Fashion and Beauty PR and in the Blogosphere.
Karen is a chartered accountant and currently Finance Director for ARYZTA Bakeries UKI. Whilst she trained in corporate tax (KPMG) her background is primarily in FMCG companies having worked with Coca-Cola Hellenic for eight years and Aryzta AG for the last three years.
Sue is a registered dietitian with over 15 years of experience in both the clinical and corporate setting. She completed her MBA through Trinity College Dublin, and advises multi-national organisations on health, wellbeing and sustainability as part of a global agency, Eat Well Global. Sue is passionate about good food and healthy living.
- Chief Executive – Alison Begas
- Medical Director – Dr Shirley McQuade
- Finance Manager – Karen Lynch
- Operations Manager – Josephine Healion
- Head of Counselling Services – Deirdre Ronan