HSE National Human Resources (HR) is undertaking a “programme of work” with staff representative bodies regarding the impact of the six new health regions. The regional structure is due to come into effect on 1 March.
A meeting of the Sláintecare programme board in December heard that work was underway within HSE National HR “to consider workforce implications in the transition to health regions and the potential impact on staff/roles in the new structure”.
This work would continue in “partnership with staff representative bodies to agree transition principles and methodologies”, according to the meeting minutes.
The meeting also noted that work was continuing on the “critical digital and ICT requirements including necessary data requirements” to establish the health regions.
In May 2023, this newspaper reported that the HSE anticipated “industrial relations issues may arise” during the implementation of the health regions. The issue was raised at a meeting of the Executive’s people and culture committee in January 2023 during a wider discussion on the regionalisation plan.
The committee heard about the “enthusiasm from staff” for the health regions and that “interactions to date have been strong and positive”.
“Whilst it is anticipated that some industrial relations issues may arise, there is a process in place with unions to work through any issues.”
On 25 January, the HSE CEO Mr Bernard Gloster announced details of the appointment of regional executive officers (REOs) to lead the six health regions.
Each REO will be the accountable officer at health region level, according to the HSE. They will be “responsible for the delivery” of high-quality, safe, and accessible services for the population of their region. REOs will report directly to the HSE CEO on the operation and management of the health regions.
The recruitment process was led by the Public Appointments Service. Mr Gloster announced the following as the REO appointments: Ms Sara Long for HSE Dublin and North East; Ms Martina Queally for HSE Dublin and South East; Ms Kate Killeen White for HSE Dublin and Midlands; Mr Tony Canavan for HSE West and North West; Dr Andy Phillips for HSE South West; and Ms Sandra Broderick, who is already in post in HSE Mid West.