Getting our voices heard.
Many of you will have been aware of, and a number of you will have attended, our inaugural annual conference on Monday, October 3 in Farmleigh.
It was a successful day where a number of themes concerning management, leadership and performance were explored both from a national and European perspective. Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly made a brief contribution which culminated in his adaptation of a previous Bill Clinton campaign theme – “It’s the patient, stupid” (Minister Reilly’s words). Doubtful if a gathering of experienced health service managers needed to be reminded of that!
One of the main contributions of the day perhaps came from Mr. Cathal Magee CEO of the HSE. In a broad overview of issues and challenges, he called for managers to step further back from administrative type roles and to embrace more fully the role of manager and leader in health service delivery at all levels. It is through the development and harnessing of such roles that real and sustainable change can be forged. In a welcome contribution, Mr. Magee went on to recognise the need for the development of managers so that they are equipped, technically and tactically, to carry out the many complex tasks asked of them.
At the heart of the team and as enunciated by the CEO is the need for the HSE regions to have more control and autonomy over their affairs. This indeed is very welcome to a diminishing corps of health service managers who sometimes almost feel strangulated by what can be an overpowering control paradigm emanating from the centre.
Giving control back to the regions (obviously within agreed parameters) is a huge statement of trust and confidence that sorely needs to be heard in every service unit. It is especially empowering and motivating for managers who want to make real contributions.