Minister meets Group Chairs & CEOs

A number of issues, including hospital boards, strategy and budgetary issues were understood to have been discussed when the Chairs of the Hospital Groups, with their CEOs, met with Health Minister, Simon Harris, the Department of Health Secretary General, Jim Breslin and the HSE Director General Tony O’Brien earlier this month, writes Maureen Browne.

Simon Harris T.D.
Simon Harris T.D.

The meeting discussed hospital boards and the process of establishing these boards where they did not exist.   Budgetary issues were also raised.

In the meantime, the Irish Times reported last Saturday that the HSE had written to Hospital Group CEOs earlier in the week stating that no additional money would be given to the HSE this year, each hospital must live within its budget and severe sanctions for underperformance might include the publication of performance notices issued against the CEOs.

According to the Irish Times this was on foot of a revised accountability framework understood to have been agreed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Health Simon Harris.

“From next month, if there is evidence that a financial plan is not being adhered to, a performance notice will be issued against the individual chief executive, “ reported the Irish Times. “If there is no improvement within a month, a second notice will be sent with an additional four weeks to comply. The letter states further action will be taken at that point if performance goals are not met.”

The Irish Times said that in the cases of Section 38 and 39 agencies, which are funded by the HSE, funding would be withheld and all requests for additional services would be precluded until the issues were addressed.

The paper went on to say that the 11-page correspondence also warned managers their performance could be the subject of investigation and that a formal performance-achievement process might be invoked which could ultimately culminate in removal of the named manager from post and or reassignment to other duties. Each hospital group chief executive has been asked to establish formal arrangements with individual hospitals to ensure delivery against targets.