More about Infographic Two - HSE Staff Survey

Workplace Initiatives

Doctors Health and Wellbeing 2018-2021

The National Strategy for Doctors Health and Wellbeing 2018-2021   contains recommended standards designed for medical students, Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors, Consultant/Senior Doctor Medical Personnel and General Practitioners (GPs). The Strategy was prepared by the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit of the HSE HR Division.

More than 30 healthcare professionals were part of the project team which developed the strategy. These included representation from third level colleges, regulatory bodies, hospital administrators, doctors at all grades and specialities, medical students, educators, professional associations and representative bodies.

The Strategy includes standards adapted from, and endorsed by, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. They have been created to support and maintain the health and wellbeing of doctors in their various workplaces and throughout their working lives.

Stress Management Programme for Staff

A national ‘HSE Workplace Stress Campaign’ was launched which was a collaborative approach from National HR divisions and Workplace and Wellbeing Unit (WHWU) to address workplace stress. It was led by the Health and Safety Information and Advisory Function. The HSE Risk Assessment tool was updated and guidance and information material was developed along with a Social Media Campaign to support this initiative. 19 Seminars were delivered throughout the country to almost 900 managers and staff from across the HSE in attendance. Support for managing workplace stress is on-going and information and resources updated and available online.

The HSE Policy for the Prevention and Management of Workplace Stress has being reviewed and updated to reflect current best practice and resources available. This was led by the Health and Safety Policy Function in collaboration with Organisational Psychology and HR divisions. It is expected that the Policy will be available mid 2018.

The Work Positive Critical Incident (CI) Framework is currently being adapted to support the Health and Social Care Sector. A National Working Group, led by the Health and Safety Information and Advisory Function along with representatives from WHWU and the State Claim Agency is tasked with the implementation of the Work Positive Critical Incident (CI) Framework throughout health sector workplaces to reduce staff exposure to workplace stress and reduce occurrences of ill-health related to workplace stress.

A number of initiatives were developed to assist managers to deal with stress in the workplace. These included a series of seminars for managers, the development of a stress management tool and information sheets and the provision of social media information and materials. These were made available by the National Health & Safety function in the HR Division.

Staff Engagement

A core strand of the People Strategy and the Framework for Improving Quality in our Health Service is to improve staff engagement across all levels of the health service. Positive staff engagement results in improvements in clinical care and helps to reduce absenteeism rates, improve staff retention and staff wellbeing.

The National Staff Engagement Forum was established in 2016. Membership of the Forum is designed to accurately reflect the staff profile in the health service and includes members from the HSE and the voluntary sector. There are currently 60 members on the Forum based on a proportional representation of staff across the services based on roles, grades and geographical areas.

The role of the Forum is to create a space for conversations about what matters to staff in terms of engagement and gather suggestions on how to improve it by building on existing approaches and continually looking for new ways to engage staff.

In 2018 a Staff Engagement website was established #engaginghealthstaff


Leadership and Communication

National Health and Social Care Professions Office

The National Health and Social Care Professions Office was established  in 2017 to lead and support health and social care professionals to maximise their potential and achieve greatest impact in the design, planning, management and delivery of person centred integrated care. The Office developed a four year Strategy in 2016 to guide the education and development of Health and Social Care Professionals.

Health Service Leadership Academy

Our organisation’s People Strategy identifies Leadership and Culture as a key priority. The People Strategy envisions creating effective leadership at all levels by working collectively towards a common purpose and creating a caring and compassionate culture and inspiring innovation, creativity and excellence throughout the organisation. A key action within the People Strategy is to shape leadership and culture within the Irish health service, by creating a national Leadership Academy, comprising the best thought and practice based leaders from across the system to lead, influence and develop leadership standards, practice and succession management.  

The HSE launched the Leadership Academy in 2017. The Leadership Academy will support the delivery of our Corporate Plan and our People Strategy, to help develop a better, more patient focused, more efficient and compassionate health service.

The Leadership Academy will develop the leadership our patients, carers, service users and communities deserve by supporting leaders at every level in health and across every sector in healthcare.

Leading Care I and Leading Care II are the first in a suite of Leadership Academy programmes to be offered to the healthcare workforce. 

Leading Care I is a 12 month leadership programme specifically designed to develop senior leaders in healthcare from both clinical and non-clinical roles.   It is designed to mirror some of the challenges of working at senior level.

Leading Care II is a Masters level programme for those who are looking for development and stimulation to rapidly improve their service and enhance their leadership capability.  It is aimed at leaders and managers of teams and services, and again is for both clinical and non-clinical colleagues.

The first two cohorts of both programmes are up and running with the third cohorts of each programme planned for October 2018. 

The Health Service Leadership Academy was launched in 2017 to develop leaders, at every level and from every profession, who can help lead that change. The Leadership Academy has developed its programme from best practice internationally, from other sectors and from other health systems.

Workforce Planning

Ireland’s National Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning was developed by the Department of Health in collaboration with HSE, National HR. This is a major step in addressing Ireland’s health workforce challenges. The objective of the framework is to align Ireland’s workforce planning systems in order to identify, agree and implement appropriate solutions to health workforce challenges – within the health sector and with education and other partners. This Framework will support the recruitment and retention of the right mix of health workers across the Irish health system to meet planned and projected service need.

In the area of recruitment a New Year New Career, recruitment awareness campaign ran for a period of seven  weeks  until end January 2018. A total of 2914 individuals, from both Ireland and abroad, responded to the campaign. Here are the final responses by group; Health Care Assistants (HCAs) 724; Nurse/Midwife 625; Health and Social Care professionals (HSCPs) 352; Administration/ Management 334; Social Care 316; Paramedic/Emergency Medical Technician 146; Doctor 90; General Support 89; Pharmacists 13; Dentists 10.  A total of 215 were categorised as other.

This campaign demonstrated the benefits and reach of a social and digital media approach in creating recruitment awareness.


Your Organisation

Health Services Change Guide

The Change Guide, published in 2018, is intended to assist managers and staff to deliver change that can bring about better outcomes for patients, service users and staff. It brings together the best available guidance and HR practice knowledge to assist leaders and staff at all levels to take responsibility to improve service user and staff experiences. The Change Guide contains step-by-step guidance and templates to implement a Change Framework that can be used by local teams and services. It also signposts users to where they can get additional help.

Staff Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

  • Staff consulted on Health and Wellbeing in all CHOs and Hospital Groups as part of Healthy Ireland planning including significant focus on staff health.
  • Funding incentive given from HSE H & W to  Hospital Groups and CHOs in 2016 and 2017 to support staff health initiatives such as supports for mental wellbeing, physical activity, health checks and improving the workplace environment.
  • Increasing levels of staff participation in staff health and wellbeing initiatives. For example - growth in number of staff participating in Steps to Health Challenge to 3,500 staff.
  • Increased communication to staff of public Healthy Ireland messages and campaigns such as,, and Men’s Health Week and the START Campaign targeting obesity.
  • Bespoke survey designed and rolled-out for H&W Division staff on lifestyle behaviours in the workplace context with over 50% participation.
  • Development of resources to support staff health such as Healthy Meeting Guidelines and Respect My Lunchtime Guidelines.
  • Development, roll out and evaluation of positive mental health promotion programme for almost 550 staff – ‘Minding Your Wellbeing’ by Health Promotion and Improvement.
  • Increase in roll out and engagement of HSE working in partnership with Irish Heart Foundation delivering Sli Na Slainte Walking routes, Staff Physical Activity Champions and Healthy Catering Awards in HSE sites.

Staff Engagement Networks

A number of sites have developed their own local Staff Engagement fora to focus on a number of issues including the results from the Staff Survey. These fora have also focused on some of the following topics: improvement in internal and upward communication, raising awareness around dignity at work Issues, health and wellbeing initiatives and staff recognition awards.

Dignity at Work

National Employee HR Helpline

The National HR Employee helpdesk was established under the People Strategy. The helpdesk aims to provide individual employee support in partnership with local HR.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Unit

The HSE HR Division developed the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Unit in 2016.   The HSE is committed to creating a positive working environment whereby all employees inclusive of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependents, age, physical or mental disability, civil status, membership of the Traveller community, and geographic location are respected, valued and can reach their full potential.

Support around developing anti bullying work place initiatives with DCU Anti Bullying Centre

The Health Service is committed to ensuring that all employees are provided with a safe working environment which is free from all forms of bullying, sexual harassment and harassment. The Dignity at Work Policy for the Health Service was produced on a partnership basis by a Working Group comprising representatives from the HSE, Voluntary Hospitals and Intellectual Disability sectors, health service unions, HSE-Employers Agency and IBEC. A support contact person is an employee of the HSE who has volunteered and received training to provide support and information on the Dignity at Work policy to colleagues who may feel they are experiencing bullying, harassment and or sexual harassment. 

Based on the feedback from the Staff Survey 2016 an Anti Bullying Project commenced with our academic partner,  Dublin City University Anti Bullying Centre.

The focus of the National Investigation Unit  is to provide a high quality independent and impartial investigation service and to ensure that the principles set out in the following key HSE Human Resources policies and procedures are adhered to at all times:

  • Trust in Care Policy May 2005 
  • Dignity at Work Policy for the Health Service May 2009 
  • Disciplinary Procedure for Employees of the Health Service Executive Jan 2007 

More information can be found