Latest HSE Figures Confirm Development Of Management “Super” Structures

INMO calls on Department of Health to review senior management structures


In the view of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), the latest figures on staffing, released today by the Irish Times, confirm the fundamentally flawed policy which has underpinned workforce planning, in the health service, for the last five years.


Confirmation that the number of senior managers increased, by 10%, in the same period that the number of frontline staff, including nurses, reduced by 3% only confirms the increasing bureaucracy, within the Irish health system.  This increased bureaucracy has left frontline services under-manned, under-resourced and over-stretched.


This flawed policy, which sees senior management consistently increase its numbers, was further underpinned in the recent publication, again by the HSE, of its structures for new community health organisations.  This structure which sees increasing layers of “super” senior management structures, while potentially reducing the number of frontline nurse managers, is just the latest example of the abject failure of workforce policies, in recent years, to protect frontline services.


In calling for this review the INMO fully supports the need for frontline administrative staff, in such areas as ED, medical records, pay and pensions, outpatients and wards. These colleague frontline staff are absolutely essential to ensuring that nurses and midwives are allowed to provide direct patient care instead of having their time spent doing essential administrative duties.


However the growth of senior management staff, who only create layers in the health system but do nothing to improve, and in fact delay, decision making, must be reversed.  The current HSE policy, which overtly attempts to reduce the number of frontline nurse managers, while increasing the number of general managers, must be challenged by the Department of Health, in this review, and reversed.


Speaking today, INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:


“These figures will only serve to further undermine the morale of frontline staff including nurses and midwives.  While they have been repeatedly told, in recent years, they must do more with less it is now proven that senior managers, are doing less with more while presiding over health services that are not fit for purpose.


While we have increased the number of senior managers the number of people on trolleys has increased, waiting lists have increased, times for outpatients’ appointments have increased and the number of day care procedures has decreased.  This is a direct result of cutting frontline services. Therefore these additional senior managers have not resulted in improved services for patients”.


Mr. Doran concluded:


“The Department of Health must immediately review the current approach, of the HSE, to organisational reform, which is blatantly designed to increase the number of senior managers.   The Department must insist that frontline posts are restored, management structures are reduced and frontline professionals allowed to manage, with autonomy and responsibility, the delivery of direct care to patients”.


The INMO will be seeking an early meeting, with the Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, on this, and other issues, as we enter 2015.

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