Fórsa is conducting extensive consultations with health and social care professionals (HSCPs) in advance of further discussions on community healthcare structures and reporting relationships.
The union’s Health & Welfare divisional executive committee considered detailed HSE proposals at its scheduled monthly meeting today (3rd April) in advance of a meeting with HSCP professional and vocational groups this afternoon.
The management proposals were tabled at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), which is facilitating discussions on community health network structures.
Fórsa and the HSE reached agreement on a ‘network model’ last September. This included agreements on improved staffing structures, which the WRC says are contingent on agreement on line management and reporting relationships. These issues are now under intense discussion.
Fórsa expressed anger that the HSE had circulated details of the proposals before union consultation had commenced. It had been agreed in the WRC that this wouldn’t happen.
But the union’s Head of Health Éamonn Donnelly says progress on community health organisation structures is crucial for Fórsa members and for the future development of local services.
“Our health service is too hospital-centric. Investment in primary care close to citizens is a public good in its own right. And it would also free badly-needed capacity for those who really have to go to hospital, where our members are struggling against the odds to deliver quality services,” he says.
Health professional representatives backed the union’s objective of reaching agreement on line management and reporting at a meeting of vocational groups, which took place in Dublin last month. The vocational groups said they do not oppose the general thrust of the proposed network model in principal, but they believe that reporting and line management matters are ‘red line’ issues.