Tensions within HSE over return of retirees for Covid-19 effort, says survey

Rehires given authority over existing competent staff ‘implying they cannot do the job’

An internal HSE survey has found nearly three-quarters of staff are satisfied with the HSE’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic to date, with slightly less having confidence in their ability to manage it going forward.

Satisfaction rates vary between categories of worker, however, and the survey reveals tensions within the HSE over the return of retirees to bolster the Covid-19 effort.

Staff working in patient and client care (PCC) complained that such rehires were “given significant positions of authority over existing competent staff, implying they cannot do the job”.

Some 7,057 staff answered questions about their experience of working through the pandemic, with 73 per cent agreeing they were satisfied with the HSE’s approach to date, 12 per cent disagreeing and 15 per cent neutral.


Slightly less (68 per cent) agreed they were satisfied with the HSE’s ability to manage the pandemic into the future.

About half (54 per cent) said they had a more positive opinion of the HSE since the pandemic, 15 per cent were more negative towards it, while 31 per cent had not changed their opinion.

‘More positive’ opinion

The area within the HSE with the highest level of “more positive” opinion was in the corporate sector – 68 per cent.

At 20 per cent, those working in PCC, such as the ambulance service, health care assistants and home helps, were more likely to hold negative opinions of the HSE since the pandemic.

The HSE said the aim of the survey – carried out between July 16th and 31st – was to “learn about health service staff experiences” during the pandemic, how they adapted, and evolving needs.

In relation to rehires, the HSE said, of the 95 staff who were brought back from retirement “to support the Covid-19 response”, 61 were still working for it.