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‘Deep frustration’ raised at HSE meeting over delays to contract change decisions

By David Lynch - 28th May 2023

contract change decisions

The “deep frustration” felt by consultants over the “inexplicable delays” in decisions on requests to change contracts was raised at the consultant type C committee.

According to minutes of the committee meeting in December 2022, seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request, the comments were made during a discussion on a report regarding type C contract change requests. 

“Following presentation of the… report, a wide-ranging discussion took place focussing on the absence of decisions in relation to the committee’s recommendations to the CEO since 2021,” read the minutes.

IHCA Secretary General Mr Martin Varley “expressed the deep frustration of consultants [about] the inexplicable delays in the decision-making process and the reputational impact of these delays on working relationships”.

Mr Varley, who is a committee member, asked that the committee write to the HSE CEO expressing its concern at these delays and for them to be addressed.

The committee Chair Mr Michael Kelly “emphasised the boundaries” of the role of the committee as provided under the consultant contract 2008, outlined the minutes.

“He indicated that, while not in disagreement with the sentiments expressed, it would not be appropriate for the committee to issue such a letter… the Chairperson undertook to convey the views of the committee by other means.”

A HSE spokesperson told MI that subsequently “all recommendations referred to in the minutes of December 2022 have been fully processed…. As noted in the minutes the views of the committee were conveyed to the CEO’s office.”

Consultants holding a type C contract may engage in on-site and off-site private practice.

The purpose of the type C committee, which was established in accordance with the provisions set out in the 2008 contract, “is to solely make recommendations to the HSE on applications for type C posts and change in contract type by individuals,” the spokesperson told MI.

“This advice is then provided to the CEO of the HSE for approval/ final decision.”

As reported in MI earlier this month, the type C committee is to remain in place, despite the rolling out of the new Sláintecare contract.

However, the HSE will continue “encouraging” existing consultants to take up the new contract, the Executive informed this newspaper.

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