Plans for provision of 24/7 diagnostics dropped from reform plan

Health service management want staff to provide greater flexibility in working arrangements as part of reforms linked to the new public service pay agreement.

The new reform action plan for the health service, published on Friday, calls for the “maximisation of the concept of task sharing/transfer introduced in respect of doctors/nurses”.

It also says there should be co-operation with requirement to deliver services in an agreed manner that maximises efficiency, productivity, and flexibility in use of resources including building on progress achieved in the lifetime of previous agreements since 2010.

The plan says this includes “a continuation of the progress towards delivery of services over an extended day/week”.

However specific reference to “a focus on 7/7 working” and potentially the provision of diagnostic services on a 24-hour basis each day, which appeared in an earlier draft given to trade unions by management, appears to have been dropped from the final version .

The new reform plan says there will be an audit carried out into the number of services being delivered outside of core hours, across three community healthcare organisations.

The new action plan also calls for the continuation of re-deployment arrangements in line with a HSE policy introduced last December “in order to match demand for services across hospital sites and geographic locations”.

The plan also involves the implementation of agreed strategies and projects to shift care delivery to the community setting including new approaches to chronic disease management and to the care of older people which may require provision of services at other places of work on a regular or intermittent basis.

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Health service management also wants to see the opening of the new acute forensic psychiatric facility at Portrane in Dublin – the replacement for the existing Central Mental Hospital – “in a timely manner”.

The plan says that a consultation process is currently underway with the relevant unions regarding the opening of the new centre.

It calls for cooperation with the agreed opening plan for the new acute forensic psychiatric facility following completion of the process underway at the Workplace Relations Commission.


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