HSE says vast majority of Section 38 allowances should end

Monday 14 April 2014 21.37
The HSE had given voluntary hospitals and agencies a deadline to make a business case for additional allowances
The HSE had given voluntary hospitals and agencies a deadline to make a business case for additional allowances

The Health Service Executive has sent a report to the Public Accounts Committee on its review of 202 business cases received from Section 38 health agencies it funds in respect of additional allowances for senior staff and some lower grades.

It has directed that the vast majority of allowances should be stopped in July.

It requests all additional allowances in the National Maternity Hospital, Mater, Tallaght, Rotunda, Cappagh, Crumlin, Coombe and St Vincent's should cease by 1 July.

It also directed that 36 should be ceased pending a review.

It is understood one senior staff member of a Section 38 is subject to a separate review process.

The HSE had given voluntary hospitals and agencies a deadline to make a business case for any additional allowances that are not covered or in line with the Department of Health pay scales but some of which may have been sanctioned in the past.

The cost of the allowances that the HSE has directed to cease permanently is more than €1.6m.

In all, 143 business cases were received from agencies for senior managers, those whose salary levels are at Grade 8 or above.

Another 59 business cases were received for salary levels below that grade.

The HSE said that extra pay and allowances for consultants and clinicians, which are not in line with the consultants' contract or the Department of Health pay scales, should also cease by 1 July.

The overall review said that the HSE is not the employer of the individuals in receipt of allowances and there are legal considerations as to how the agencies might remove the pay.

The options it set out include getting the agreement of the employee.

It said the allowance may not be contractual and may be discretionary, or may be subject to a duty no longer being performed, or may be tied to a defined period of time.

It also said that in some cases, it may be possible to terminate the "offending" contract and offer immediate re-engagement on precisely the same terms and conditions of employment, with full recognition of service to date but with the allowance removed.

The biggest single allowance to a Section 38 agency listed in the HSE's report to the PAC is for €51,617 in respect of a post graduate coordinator allowance.

It is paid to the Director of Post Graduate Medical Education at St James's Hospital in Dublin.

The hospital made a business case for its continuation until the next contract review in 2015.

However, the HSE has directed that it cease permanently from 1 July.

The report also lists a "Money Follows the Patient & Casemix Allowance" of €13,400 for a consultant at Children's University Hospital Temple Street.

The HSE said that the following allowances should cease:

Tallaght Hospital Deputy CEO - €33,250
Beaumont Hospital Deputy CEO - €18,478
Mater Chair of the Medical Executive - €28,035
Holles Street secretary/manager - €39,000
Holles Street Financial Controller - €30,000
Holles Street Director of Midwifery - €37,500
Crumlin Hospital CEO - €30,000
Rotunda Master - €20,000
Rotunda Secretary General -  €17,000
St Vincent's Director of Finance - €32,544