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How report highlighted problems

The three Dublin hospitals -- Temple Street, Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and Tallaght Hospital -- were heavily criticised in the unpublished Meridian Report, which was commissioned by the HSE.

It found there was a significant shortfall in operations that could have been performed, and that shortfall was not down to a lack of resources or staffing issues.

The report found that Temple Street and Our Lady's were underusing theatre time by 28pc and Tallaght Hospital was under using by 17pc.

It used a best practice target of 85pc -- acknowledging that theatres cannot operate at 100pc capacity.

It said that reforms in the planning and management of operations would reduce waiting lists for children.

The review, carried out by consultancy firm Meridian, was completed in 2010 in advance of the building of the new national children's hospital, which plans to bring all three hospitals together at one site.

Irish Independent