There will be a “movement” of staff from the “centre” of the HSE when the six new health regions commence, Mr Liam Woods, HSE National Director, told a recent conference.
Mr Woods was speaking at the HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) National Medical Workforce Conference in Dublin on 9 November. The theme of the conference was ‘The impact of HSE health regions’.
Mr Woods, who is leading the implementation process for the HSE regions, told the conference he expected the heads of the six regions will be appointed by the end of the year.
He predicted that the commencement of the regions in February 2024 would mark a “significant date” for the HSE.
During a questions and answers session, Mr Woods was asked about possible “duplication” of work between the centre of the HSE and the new regions.
“The Sláintecare document says the HSE centre needs to be more agile and leaner,” he told attendees.
He said that if the HSE centre remained operational in the same way after the health regions were up and running, “you would have duplication, and worse, you would have confusion”.
“There will be, I think, a movement of people from the centre of the HSE.”
Mr Woods noted the centre of the HSE “is not Dr Steevens’ Hospital” and is currently distributed throughout the country.
“I think it’s important that we do downsize the centre [so] we keep it focused on what really matters and the regions are enabled.”
However, Mr Woods said he did not envisage “major redundancies”.
“The health regions will be provided with autonomy, and the capacity to make decisions… giving a more enabling environment to managers locally, service providers, hospitals.”
Also speaking at the event, HSE CEO Mr Bernard Gloster said the health regions are about bringing “decision-making closer to where it is going to happen”.