Minister ‘appalled’ by HSE over staff recruitment misinformation

Minister of State told HSE she was shocked to learn that most of the 400-plus staff due to be hired by the end of 2012 were not in place

Minister of State  Kathleen Lynch: “These figures come as a shock given the constant assurances I have received and places me in a situation of having given public assurances in good faith which now appear to be false.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch: “These figures come as a shock given the constant assurances I have received and places me in a situation of having given public assurances in good faith which now appear to be false.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Mon, May 6, 2013, 11:32


A Government minister has accused senior Health Sevice Executive management of giving her misinformation and false assurances over the recruitment of hundreds of staff to frontline health services.

Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsiblity for mental health services, told the HSE’s director general designate, Tony O’Brien, last January she was shocked to learn that most of the 400-plus staff due to be hired by the end of 2012 were not in place. Instead, only 62 staff had taken up posts.

“These figures come as a shock given the constant assurances I have received and places me in a situation of having given public assurances in good faith which now appear to be false,” she wrote, in private correspondence.

She said she had since learned that many of the posts due to be filled last year would not be in place until well into 2013, despite ring-fencing €35 million to recruit staff to mental health and sucide-prevention serivces last year.

“This timeframe is completely unacceptable and I am alarmed at the casual progress made to date. I am also appalled by the misinformation given to me on the matter,” she wrote.

The HSE this weekend confirmed that it had now filled 339 of the 414 posts that were due to have been filled last year. “The remaining posts will be filled as soon as possible,” a spokeswoman said.

Private records show Ms Lynch demanded an explanation of where the ring-fenced money was spent last year.