Applications for top-ups by senior health staff rejected
Published 11/04/2014 | 02:30
TEN consultants at St Vincent's Hospital are among a large number of senior health staff who have had their applications for top-up allowances rejected.
The specialists have extra management roles in addition to their day-to-day clinical work.
However, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has rejected the hospital's business cases it received to pay them an extra allowance for the work.
It also turned down an application to be allowed to continue to pay a top-up to a senior manager, although this payment has already ended.
A spokesman for St Vincent's Hospital said that of the 11 business cases submitted to the HSE review, 10 were for "consultants in management", in keeping with a model operated by the hospital before the establishment of the HSE in 2005.
The payments are now to be part of further discussions between the hospital and the HSE as part of a wider review of doctors in management across hospital groups.
The HSE received 202 business cases earlier this year for top-up allowances from voluntary hospitals and disability agencies after an audit revealed that €3.2m was being paid in unauthorised top-ups to senior staff in these State-funded Section 38 agencies.
A high number of applications have been rejected – but unauthorised allowances can be paid up to July 1 to allow the employers time to examine contractual and legal implications.
The HSE has told the agencies to take "advice prior to implementing changes so that it does so in a legally compliant manner" while mitigating risk.
A spokesman for Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin said it would not be commenting on whether the HSE had granted a €30,000 top-up to Lorcan Birthistle, its chief executive, to bring his salary to €140,000. It is currently paid from the proceeds of the hospital shop.
A spokesman for the National Maternity Hospital in Holles St also declined to say if any staff were given top-ups.
A spokesman for the Rotunda Hospital said it is "considering the contents of the letter".
The Brothers of Charity disability organisation and St James's Hospital in Dublin did not respond to queries.