The big ticket savings from Croke Park have so far mostly been related to staff reductions. But many local and sectoral initiatives are also creating savings through changed working practices and other initiatives.
One recent example has been finalised at Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin, where changes to rosters and breaks are expected to deliver annual savings of €220,000. The changes will free up 3.5 staff members for work elsewhere in the organisation, leading to an annual €175,000 reduction in spending on locums and agency staff. A further €47,000 will be shaved from spending on premium payments, with reduced earnings for the staff concerned.
The agreement is the latest in a growing number of local level changes implemented under Croke Park, which have received little attention compared to the headline changes in areas like medical laboratories (now saving €5 million a year) and radiography (estimated savings of €3.5 million a year).
Overall, the Croke Park Implementation Body has verified that the agreement directly led to annual savings of over €680 million in the year up to June 2011, exceeding Government targets. The trend has continued in the second half of 2011 and is likely to accelerate in 2012 to meet the new Budget objective of an additional €400 million in public service payroll savings.
Through staff reductions and other reforms (less leave, extended working hours, rationalisation of agencies, centralised and shared services, staff relocation and redeployment, and many other changes) we are on target to deliver total annual savings of €3.5 billion in the public service pay bill by 2015.
You can get more examples of reforms delivered in the health sector (including by region) on the HSE website. The Croke Park National Implementation Body carries examples of national and local reforms underway on its website.