Senior HSE clinical manager earns almost €1m in pay in 2017

Gordon Deegan

One senior clinical manager in the HSE last year earned almost €1m in pay.

That is according to the HSE’s 2017 annual accounts which show that the senior clinical manager's pay of between €970,000 and €980,000 in 2017 incorporates backdated arrears of pay since 2010 including basic pay, allowance, overtime, night duty, weekend and on calls.

A note in the HSE accounts states that the manager’s actual employee benefits in 2017 without any arrears would have put the manager in the pay band of €210,000 to €220,000.

The pay enjoyed by the senior clinical manager was almost €500,000 more than the next top earner who received between €500,000 and €510,000.

Last year, a further 12 staff members received pay between €300,000 and €500,000.

In total, 2,554 staff members at the HSE last year received pay over €100,000 - compared to 2,243 in the earning bracket in 2016 - a rise of 311.

The majority of the high earners at the HSE would be medical consultants - though no breakdown is provided in the accounts between consultants and others.

The breakdown shows that 25 staff members received pay between €250,000 and €300,000; 250 in receipt of salaries between €200,000 and €250,000; 1,108 between €150,000 and €200,000 and 1,157 between €100,000 and €150,000.

The rise in stellar pay by the high-fliers at the health service comes against the background of the HSE’s total pay bill last year increasing by 4.8% from €5.1bn to €5.35bn.

During 2017, numbers employed by the HSE increased by 3,800 going from 110,258 to 114,058

Pay to key management personnel at the HSE - made up of the Directorate - last year totalled €1.152m - down from the €1.23m paid out in 2016.

The accounts also reveal that the spend on lump-sum pension payments to those retiring last year totalled €115.64m - a 6.7% rise on the €108.3m paid out in 2016.

Former HSE Director General, Tony O’Brien last year received €188,000 in pay.

The spend on agency staff also increased by 8.5% going from €277.33m to €301m while the HSE’s overtime bill increased by 10% going from €148.9m to €164m.

Under ‘pay', the HSE’s ‘night-time’ allowance bill decreased from €73m to €70m while the spend on ‘weekend’ allowances increased from €160m to €176m.

Elsewhere, the accounts show that the HSE’s spend on legal and professional fees continued to soar last year - going up by 42% from €60m to €85m - and the followed a 28.6% increase in 2016.

The State Claims Agency (SCA) manages claims being made against the HSE for damages and the accounts show that the HSE’s estimated liability for active claims soared during the year by €432m from €1.922bn at the end of 2016 to €2.354bn at the end of last December.

The accounts -signed off by the HSE Directorate on May 18 - reveal that €1.984bn relate to active claims in respect of clinical care while €370m relates to active claims in the non-clinical care area.

The total spend at the HSE last year amounted to €15.22bn - a rise of 5% on the €14.5bn in 2016 and the increased spend resulted in a €139m loss for the year compared to a loss of €10.29m loss in 2016.

In his report on the annual accounts, Comptroller and Auditor General, Seamus McCarthy states that his audit “identified a significant level of non-competitive procurement that is consistent with the findings in previous years”

Mr McCarthy said:

There was a lack of evidence of competitive procurement in relation to 36% by value of the sample of payments examined at five locations in the HSE. The total value of the sample was €51.5m.

In his report, HSE chairman, John Connaghan said that the HSE spends around €2bn each year on goods and services subject to procurement and acknowledges that it will take a number of years to fully address procurement compliance issues in the context of the HSE’s current procurement systems and level of staffing available to put in place contracts.

The accounts show that former HSE Director General, Tony O’Brien last year received €188,000 in pay - an increase on €185,000 paid out in 2016.

In addition, Mr O’Brien received an additional €12,480 in board fees last year as well.

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