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Concern over lack of staff appointments in disability service regulation – HIQA

By Mindo - 30th Aug 2018

The Department recently sent a letter of allocation allowing for the recruitment of posts as outlined in a business case by the Authority.

However, according to minutes of a HIQA Board meeting in May, sanction has been received for only seven additional staff for the disability services regulation section to date.

During the meeting, HIQA CEO Mr Phelim Quinn referred the Board to the letter from the Department regarding recommendations arising out of HIQA’s meeting with the Public Accounts Committee on the use of agency staff.

“PQ [Phelim Quinn] explained that currently HIQA is balancing the risk of delivering its existing and new functions and responsibilities effectively with the risk of reliance on agency staff,” according to the minutes.

“He added that the Executive have identified this as a risk and are currently analysing this matter further and will be bringing a management plan to the next Board meeting for further consideration.”

The Board expressed its support for the CEO’s approach regarding using agency staff to support delivery of the programme of work set out in the 2018 Business Plan.

Also, it was noted during the meeting that HIQA had been invited to present evidence to the Oireachtas Health Committee on 23 May on the Healthcare Licensing and Patient Safety Bill as part of pre-legislative scrutiny.

The process of preparing HIQA’s views prior to appearing before Oireachtas committees was queried.

“It was clarified that in this matter (healthcare licensing) there had been a detailed discussion on HIQA’s position with the Board at a previous meeting and that position would have been presented at the Oireachtas Committee.

“However, it was agreed that time would be set aside at a future meeting to consider the process for communicating with the Board prior to such appearances and for ensuring the Board’s views are included in the position articulated. It was also agreed that the presentation for the next appearance before the Oireachtas Committee will be shared with the Board in advance of the appearance and that the Board’s views would be sought.”

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