Further strong growth in activity is expected in 2016 at the HSE’s national health business services centre based in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim.
Last year activity levels more than doubled as the centre took on additional business, particularly in the areas of recruitment and pensions, on behalf of the HSE.
The HSE’s business division is known as Health Business Services (HBS) and it provides business solutions to all parts of the HSE, from Finance, Procurement, Estates Management and HR Systems.
The National Centre for Health Business Services Human Resources (HBS HR) is based in Manorhamilton and is gaining momentum.
This national centre took on 40 new people last year bringing the total employed to 220 with staff commuting to Manorhamilton from the neighbouring counties of Sligo, Mayo, Donegal, Fermanagh, Cavan, Roscommon and Longford.
Eithne Fox, Head of Health Business Services (HR) said: “We are one of the biggest recruiters in the country in either the private or public sectors and we are expecting our business to grow.
“There is a significant amount of high volume processing carried out in Co Leitrim on behalf of the HSE and we are a big employer for the North West.”
Last year the HSE’s Health Business Services (HBS) HR managed 25,000 job applications on behalf of the HSE and hired 5,000 people from its Manorhamilton base. These were for jobs that covered the length and breadth of the country.
HBS HR recruits for staff for nearly all areas of the HSE and Tusla (National Child and Family Agency) including doctors, dentists, nursing, therapists, ambulance staff, administration staff and support staff.
There are hundreds of different grades of staff and the HBS HR team in Manorhamilton have built up great expertise in public health recruitment for both acute hospitals and jobs in the community.
“We work closely with the professions and managers of the services to ensure that the recruitment we do matches what they need for their service.
“The Health Business Service Centre staff really make the connection between the work they do and how that can positively impact on health and social care services - we always aim to deliver safe and competent staff as efficiently as possible,” said Eithne.
Manorhamilton is also the home of the HSE’s National Garda Vetting Unit. Garda Vetting has become an essential part of the recruitment process in recent years and it is one of the key components in improving patient safety. Last year the Office received almost 24,000 Garda vetting applications.
This national centre for business solutions for the HSE in Manorhamilton also includes a National Pensions Unit. This unit manages the administration of all HSE employees who have retired since January 2010.
Currently this is 15,700 retirees and increasing every month. The unit is also home to a dedicated Pensions team which serves 42 independent public health service bodies (e.g. large Dublin Hospitals and organisations with responsibility for the delivery of services in the Intellectual Disability sector).
Social change brought about by the introduction of divorce, separation and civil unions has made the whole area of the administration of pensions much more complex as a pension is viewed as an asset in the divorce/ separation context.
In order to manage some of this complexity a Family Law Unit has been established at Manorhamilton. The expertise of the Family Law Unit is required when pension rights need to be shared out between separating or divorcing couples. In 2015 the HSE dealt with approximately 400 family law cases in this area.
In addition this national centre for HBS HR also shares the landmark building in Manorhamilton with other support functions; most notably with the North/South Unit which supports HSE involvement in a range of activities with a cross border dimension including radiotherapy service development, cardiology, emergency services, orthopaedics and ambulance services. It is also a base for significant cross border health cooperation in services such as acute hospitals, sexual health, eating disorders, mental health, autism support, older people, obesity, disability and diabetes.
The North/South Unit works with Cooperation And Working Together (CAWT), a partnership between the Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which facilitates cross border collaborative working in health and social care.
This partnership has overseen the investment of more than €35m EU funding for health and social care services for the border counties over the last ten years.
There are also some specific services for the North West region based in Manorhamilton including internal audit, IT, payroll, human resources and finance.