HSE threatens five agencies with funding cuts over pay policy

Friday 14 February 2014 22.47
St Vincent's University Hospital is among five agencies threatened with funding cuts
St Vincent's University Hospital is among five agencies threatened with funding cuts

The HSE has said five voluntary hospitals and agencies that receive Government funding are not compliant with public sector pay policy.

Those affected are St James’s Hospital, St Vincent’s University Hospital, St John of God, Brothers of Charity Southern Services, and Brothers of Charity Services South East.

It said the five agencies are deemed non-compliant as they have not made business cases for their pay levels.

The HSE has written to the agencies advising them that their cash funding will be reduced by 20% from 21 February until they provide confirmation that they are compliant with public health sector pay policy.

They are also required to submit the necessary detailed business cases.

The HSE said the reduction in cash funding is not a budget cut and therefore should, under no circumstances, impact on the provision of services to patients or clients.

The executive said that 10 agencies are compliant with pay policy and further 27 agencies have presented 88 business cases for additional allowances. 

The HSE has appointed an internal review panel of senior staff to examine the business cases.

In some cases, agencies have ceased paying allowances.

St Vincent’s University Hospital said it is engaged in a process with the HSE and will not be making any further comment.

Responding to the decision, SIPTU’s Health Division Organiser Paul Bell called on the HSE to guarantee that services to the public will not be negatively impacted upon by this action.

“I have serious concerns about this approach to addressing the salary non compliance issue as it may not yield the intended result,” he said.

“Our members providing frontline services in the identified institutions and services are deeply concerned that vulnerable patients and service users may suffer if the financial cut is applied in general terms by the HSE."