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Health Reform

Nurses 'demoralised again' as HSE gains 11% more senior managers in four years

The number of nurses fell in the same period by almost 3%.

THE MORALE OF frontline staff has been “further undermined” by revelations that the number of senior staff in the HSE has increased rapidly in recent years.

Figures released to The Irish Times under Freedom of Information show the number of senior management in the HSE has increased by 10.9% since 2011, while the number of nurses has fallen by 2.8%.

The increase in middle management was placed at 4.4%.

The HSE explained in the documents that these increases were due to elements of the Haddington Road agreement, normal promotions, and noted the total number has actually fallen 8.4% since a 2007 peak.

In a statement this afternoon, general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Liam Doran said an immediate review of the HSE’s organisational reform is needed.

He said:

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.

Doran said that more managerial staff hasn’t reduced the number of people on trolleys or helped slow the growth of waiting lists.

Meanwhile, Siptu has called for the workers employed under the HSE support staff intern scheme to be made permanent, as other figures published today show the spend on agency staff has reached €328 million in 2014.

Health organiser Paul Bell said:

It would be much more cost effective for interns to be brought into the health service’s permanent staff as they are clearly are needed and this would also allow workers to benefit from secure employment conditions.

Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson on health Colm Burke said the figures had reached unacceptable levels, and highlighted concerns for the lack of continuity in patient care.

Doran said it was “utter madness” that the rising cost of agency staff had not been addressed.

“When you decrease the number of directly employed staff, you have to increase your agency spend because you cannot do without your essential staff.”

“No one should be surprised [at the rising costs], but the only question is, why hasn’t it been addressed?”

Read: Varadkar to meet with Michelin-starred chef who wants to improve hospital food >

More: Nurses travel to Blackrock to protest against €150 registration fee >

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