What’s right for staff is right for patients

Ms. Rosarii Mannion the new HSE National Director Human Resources, told the Conference that she firmly believed that if we got things right for our staff we would get them right for our patients.

Ms Rosarii Mannion
Ms Rosarii Mannion

“That is my underpinning philosophy in terms of my approach and the approach my team will be taking to HR. There is overwhelming evidence that good people management practices leads to better patient outcomes and this will be a key area of focus for me. I am delighted colleagues in RCSI are doing such good work in bringing this philosophy to life across the HSE,” she told the Conference.

Introducing her, HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene said he would like to congratulate Rosarii, a former HMI Council Member, with 14 years management experience on her appointment as HSE National HR Director. “We will do our best to support the work you do. I will look forward to hearing the priorities in HR to support line managers and build and develop competencies of staff. It is a big job with lots of challenge and Rosarii has our full support in doing this.”

I am a strong advocate of supporting delivery units and HR managers. I am not a fan of having a major centralised team.

Ms. Mannion said HR would be supporting line managers to select and develop their people and achieve high levels of engagement. Focussing on these priorities would enable the health service organisation to become the employer of choice for skilled professionals in Ireland and from overseas.

She said there was a 33 per cent differential in patient outcome when staff were engaged and feeling positive about their work. “The evidence links high staff engagement with beneficial behaviours, better outcomes and improved performance. Involvement in one’s role, commitment to one’s organisation and positive feelings towards one’s organisation lead to, higher job satisfaction, lower staff sickness and lower staff turnover.   It also leads to greater patient experience and increased productivity.

“We know we have improvements to make, but that should not stop us setting the bar high. We will clearly focus on outcomes of safer better healthcare. We have to see a direct link between people receiving our services and outcomes.   If we are not adding value we need to change.

“Our staff are at the core of the delivery of healthcare services – working within and across all care settings in communities, hospitals and healthcare offices. We have the skills and capacity and there is no reason why we should not be leaders in people services.

If we have patients on trolleys we cannot say we are getting it right. We have to be passionate about what we are doing.

“Earlier this year the HSE launched its first ever corporate plan with its values of care, compassion, trust and learning and this is the backdrop to everything we should be doing. From a HR perspective, we should be living this every day in our engagement with staff and in everything we do in our interactions with each other and with our trade unions.

“I have developed a ‘People Vision’ and a ‘People Mission’ based on the HSE vision and mission statements. Our ‘People Vision’ is that we should empower all staff to perform to the best of their ability delivering service excellence. Our ‘People Mission’ is to provide professional HR services to transform the organisation’s capability to deliver safer better healthcare. I would be grateful for any comments you have on these and please send them to me before they are finalised.”

Ms. Mannion said the fundamental concepts underpinning the People Strategy were adding value for service users, communities and staff, creating a sustainable future, developing organisational capability, harnessing creativity and innovation, leading with vision, inspiration and integrity, managing with agility, succeeding through the talent of people, and sustaining service excellence.

“Our mission is about empowering the organisation and everyone who is a leader or a manager should be given skills to deal with staff in a very respectful way, mentoring and supporting. We will, and can, deal with underperformance, but again this must be done in a very respectful way.

“I am a strong advocate of supporting delivery units and HR managers. I am not a fan of having a major centralised team. We need a team in the centre but we need follow up in each of the delivery units being established. I passionately believe HR must be enshrined in delivery units and I am in the process of seeing how we can establish that.

“Sustainability will be about empowering delivery units with accountability. We need to harness creativity and innovation. There is considerable evidence of projects where staff are doing really good things and really well managed.

She said the main effects on HR service delivery were measurable improvements in leadership, staff engagement, performance and patient satisfaction. “One-size-fits-all solutions don’t work – we have to support and empower delivery units.

“Early priorities for us now are staff engagement, staff communications, diversity and inclusion, recognising staff achievement, distributed leadership, support for delivery units and a workable performance management system.

“The HR behaviour we need to see is energetic and focussed, inclusive, loyal and fair, stress resilient, receptive, challenging and respectful, with a knowledge of the system, capable, committed compatible, well regarded with key stakeholders, with interpersonal skills honesty and passionate about people.

“We have developed a HR Helpdesk, AskHR@hse.ie and hope it will go live later this week.”

“We need to lead with vision and integrity. The Minister picked up issues about delay in recruitment and delays in paying staff. We have a body of work to do. We need to see more of a ‘can do’ attitude. We can only succeed through talent of people so we have to make sure we are tapping into that talent.

“The HR function is the most important function in this organisation. We need to see

measureable improvement in leadership and achievement underpinned by better staff engagement and patient satisfaction. If we have patients on trolleys we cannot say we are getting it right. We have to be passionate about what we are doing.

“If we get it right for staff, we will get it right for patients. We can be leaders in people services and I really need your support in delivering on this agenda. It is well worthwhile, it is the reason we come to work, it is the reason we work in health care and we need your help and support in this very worthwhile ambition.”

Ms. Mannion concluded by saying she believed that if we could stand in someone else’s shoes, we would treat them differently and invited those present a short video to illustrate this. The Human Connection to Patient Care – www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8