A leader in people services

There were outstanding leaders in the Irish health services and if clinicians, nurses and ambulance personnel were properly resourced and the money properly targeted, she firmly believed the HSE could be a leader in people services. Ms. Rosarii Mannion, HSE National Director HR, told a meeting of the HMI Dublin Mid Leinster Regional Meeting in the Dublin Dental Hospital. Maureen Browne reports.

Ms. Rosarii Mannion
Ms. Rosarii Mannion

Ms. Mannion, who was speaking on the “Health Services People Strategy 2015 – 2018,” said that the strategy was not an end in itself – but a method of ensuring that staff delivered high quality, safe healthcare to service users.  This was the fundamental concept which underpinned the strategy.

She said that HSE Director General, Tony O’ Brien had launched and welcomed the Strategy,  saying it underpinned the wider health reform and focused on people services for the whole of the health system.

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We want to recruit and retain high calibre staff and we need to have the ability to respond to people at different times of their lives.

“The DG believes improved people services are the responsibility of all leaders, managers and staff.  He is extremely supportive and we are very grateful for that,” said Ms Mannion.

The strategy had been developed in recognition of the vital role of staff at all levels in addressing the many challenges in delivering health services across and within all settings in communities, hospitals and health care facilities.

“The HSE has a talented, committed workforce, who are doing many really good things.  However, I believe we can all do better if we engage, develop and value the workforce.”

She said that international evidence showed that staff who were valued, supported in their development and treated well, improved patient care and overall performance.

“When you go around and talk to staff, you don’t pick up the message that they feel very positive. This is the big challenge to me, to engage with staff and work towards positive feedback which will lead to better outcomes for those in receipt of our services.”

The HSE is to carry out a second staff survey this year and Ms. Mannion said that she believed that if this was to produce better results it was essential that we listened to the views of, and engaged with, staff.   While no dramatic changes could realistically be expected in a 12 month period, the survey would provide an important feedback of current staff views and was an important part of on-going engagement between staff and the HSE.

HSE Director General, Tony O’ Brien had launched and welcomed the Strategy,  saying it underpinned the wider health reform and focused on people services for the whole of the health system.

Ms. Mannion said that the health services needed a strategy because it had come through a very difficult period of austerity and a moratorium which had impacted on staff and their ability to deliver a high performing HR service.

The People Strategy stemmed from the HSE’s Corporate Plan and its goals had been enshrined in their work by the HSE leadership.  The vision behind the strategy was to enable all staff to perform to the best of their ability in delivering services.

“We want to lead, manage and develop the contribution of all staff in an environment that is conducive to learning and well being. We also want to focus on the future needs of the services to meet the workforce demands to attract and retain high calibre staff.

“Our people vision stems from our corporate plan and its objective is to enable all staff to perform to the best of their ability delivering services.  If we are working towards that vision we will see a fundamental uplift in how we are dealing with our people.   We want to improve our organisation’s capability to deliver safer better healthcare by creating an environment that supports staff and where they are held accountable in a respectful way.

“We are keen to improve on performance management to have a respectful engagement to ensure things are picked up early and addressed, leading to safer, better healthcare.

“We are looking at the life journey of staff.  We want to recruit and retain high calibre staff and we need to have the ability to respond to people at different times of their lives.

“We want to ensure we have a professional HR service that is technically competent and professional and works for our people.

“It is absolutely essential that we share our people strategy  with all staff, that it is  tracked and implemented and that we are living what is in it.    I believe that this will only happen if we have strong leadership and line managers are crucial in this regard and in ensuring that we will not be meeting in 12  months or two years and not see differences visible on the ground.

Ms. Mannion said there were eight key pillars in strategy:

  • Priority 1. Leadership and Culture: Effective leadership at all levels, working collectively towards a common purpose, creating a caring and compassionate culture and inspiring innovation, creativity and excellence throughout the organisation.
  • Priority 2. Staff Engagement: Staff to have a strong sense of connection to the service, take personal responsibility for achieving better outcomes and support team colleagues to deliver results.
  • Priority 3. Learning and Development:  A learning culture that prioritises development to ensure staff are equipped to confidently deliver, problem solve and innovate safer better healthcare
  • Priority 4. Workforce Planning: Comprehensive workforce plan to be in place based on current and predicted service needs, evidence informed clinical care pathways and staff deployment.
  • Priority 5. Evidence and Knowledge: Work practices and client pathways are evidence informed and decision making is based on real time and reliable data.
  • Priority 6. Performance: Staff and teams are clear about roles, relationships, reporting and professional responsibilities so that they can channel their energy and maximise performance to meet organisational targets.
  • Priority 7. Partnering:  Partnerships with staff, service managers and stakeholders effectively developed and managed to add value and support the delivery of safer, better healthcare for local communities driving change and improving the client experience.
  • Priority 8. Human Resource Professional Services: HR services designed to create value, enhance people capacity and positioned to deliver organisational priorities.