Overstaffing at County Hospital criticised by HSE audit

An audit conducted by the Health Service Executive has criticised Roscommon University Hospital for being overstaffed.

  The audit, released under the Freedom of Information Act, scrutinised payroll processes for nursing staff employed at the hospital.

  It found: “Improvement is needed in monitoring of the WTE (whole-time equivalent, or full-time staff) and inducting of new staff.”

  It noted that the WTE for the hospital was 275, seven above its WTE ceiling of 268. The WTE was above the ceiling each month during the audit period.

  This was categorised as ‘medium risk’ by the auditors.

  “Group management should ensure that the correct WTE ceiling is in place and that this ceiling is adhered to,” they noted.

  The audit also found that no induction forms were on file for any of the sample nursing recruitments tested and also labelled this ‘medium risk’.

  “It is imperative to induct, so that employees can gain the necessary information to perform their duties to the highest standard possible within the HSE,” the audit said.

  The audit was completed in September 2015, with the period audited being from November 2013 to January 2015.

  It found the absentee rate among staff at the hospital was 3.69 per cent. The hospital had almost 100 full-time nursing staff, with a payroll budget of €5.6 million a year. The hospital has 96 beds, comprising inpatient and daycare.

  A similar audit of Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, which was conducted over the same timeframe, also found evidence of overstaffing.

  It was noted that the WTE for the hospital was 283, ten above its ceiling. The absentee rate at the hospital was 4 per cent.