St Michael’s House on course for €3m Croke Park savings

Thursday 23rd February 2012

Croke Park reforms have saved almost €950,000 in just seven months at
St Michael’s House, one of Ireland’s largest providers of
community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities. The
organisation expects savings of over €3 million once its local agreement
on Croke Park reforms is fully implemented.

The changes include the introduction of an extended day for front
line, clinical and administrative staff plus redeployment between day
and residential services to help management cope with fewer staff.

The organisation is introducing a new rostering system for its 170
residential and respite units, which will support a comprehensive review
of rosters that’s currently underway. The provision of transport by
frontline staff is also eliminating duplication and increasing
efficiencies, with estimated savings of €400,000 in 2012.

A recent review of reforms in St Michaels House, which employs over
1,500 people, detailed progress in 21 key change areas set out in an
agreement signed by unions and management last summer. The changes cover
all aspects of service delivery across all grades of staff.

The St Michael’s agreement is the latest in a growing number of local
and national cost-saving initiatives implemented under Croke Park. They
include €50 million a year from the redeployment of surplus teachers,
new rosters in medical labs (€7 million a year), changes in radiography services (€3.5 million a
year), changed prison work practices (€20 million a year), annual
savings of €220,000 in Our Lady’s hospice in Dublin, and €685,000 annual savings from Teagasc reorganisation and reform.

Local councils have also been reorganising to cope with a 20% cut in
local authority staffing. Fingal county council has saved €16.5 million
in payroll and other savings while Galway city has saved €700,000.

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 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) HERE. The Croke Park National Implementation Body carries examples of national and local reforms underway on its website.