'Risk' As Nearly 4,000 Apply For HSE Exit Scheme

The HSE has admitted there is a "degree of risk" after almost 4,000 staff within the HSE applied for the voluntary redundancy scheme, according to a statement from the department this morning.

In the statement by the Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive to the Joint Committee on Health and Children, Cathal Magee said accelerated exit programmes involve a "degree of risk in terms of their immediate impact" on both administrative functions.

Mr Magee said services may be impacted as "gaps emerge" with managers and staff departing in various locations.

According to the breakdown in figures, published today, 2,380 management and admin staff have applied for the early exit programme, including 50 national directors. A total of 1,164 general support staff have also applied, and a total of 3,775 will be gone by the end of the year.

In the statement, Mr Magee said the existing moratorium on recruitment of certain grades will also impact the HSE's capacity to achieve the service objectives for the 2011 National Service Plan. However, he said a series of contingency plans are being drawn up to deal with potential gaps that will appear once these significant numbers of staff exit at the end of December 2010.

"We will require a more flexible, innovative and solution driven administrative and management culture, with greater levels of output based productivity, to ensure that we continue to deliver high-quality support services.

"There will be a need to simplify and streamline our management and administrative structures and to reduce the number of hierarchical levels currently in the system."


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