Managing expectations managers’ greatest challenge

Managing expectations was the biggest challenge for managers in the Irish health service, Minister of State at the Department of Health, Ms. Kathleen Lynch, T.D., said when she gave the opening address to the Conference.

Kathleen Lynch T.D.
Ms. Kathleen Lynch T.D.

“What it takes to be a good manager will change with every circumstance in which you find yourself, and it is flexibility, the ability to read people and to know how to act in any given situation that makes a good manager.  To be a good manager you nearly need to be invisible, but your staff need to know that you will see everything and you will act in a way that sometimes they might not want you to act, but you will act.

“To get to the top of your profession you have to be courteous and kind but also to have a backbone of steel. It is important to be able to make decisions and follow these decisions through. You also need to be able to tell us at times where things are going wrong. You need to be drivers, leaders in your own area. That is how you got to where you are, because people recognised that drive and leadership in you.”

Ms. Lynch said that there was a constant refrain that there were too many civil servants, too many public servants, too many managers, but then they were also looking for services from these same people…!I ask them, well who would you get rid of?”

The Minister of State who has responsibility for Mental Health, welcomed the lodging of the Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) planning application to An Bord Pleanála which marked the first important step in replacing the Central Mental Hospital (CMH), Dundrum with an appropriate modern facility.

“The decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant the National Forensic Mental Health project Strategic Infrastructure Development status is welcome. It highlights the significance of the project for the people of Ireland” said the Minister. “The provision of a new forensic hospital is a key recommendation of A Vision for Change and is a vital part of the overall reforms in the Mental Health sector. I am confident that the project will proceed through the planning process and that building can commence by the end of 2015.”

To get to the top of your profession you have to be courteous and kind but also to have a backbone of steel.

She said this planning application demonstrated the Government’s commitment to implement the outstanding aspects of A Vision for Change, including delivery of new  infrastructure for the National Forensic Mental Health Service (NFMHS) to replace the CMH with a new, modern forensic facility (Phase 1), and, in due course, the provision of four intensive care regional facilities (Phase 2).

“Project and Design Teams were appointed for the forensic project (Phase 1) some time ago. This proposed capital project, divided into two phases, will complement the €90m made available since 2012 under the Programme for Government to underpin around 1,100 new staff to facilitate a move away from traditional institutional care towards community based services,” said Ms. Lynch.