Drumm's new 'management team' helped negotiate deal

On the day that the Health Service Executive became a single national health service, it finally managed to appoint a CEO, amidst political and heated negotiations, Sara Burke reports


In a bizarre epitaph to the appointment of David Drumm as CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE), members of the management advisory team Drumm is bringing with him to the health service, were involved in long difficult negotiations between him and the HSE. This team, known as the apex team, now known as his consultant advisors, was said to be the reason for the breakdown in negotiation's, first time round, on 2 June 2005. 

The official reason given for the breakdown at the time was failure to agree to fund Drumm's return to clinical work after his five year term as CEO was up. However, prior to 2 June, Prof Drumm had said the biggest issue was his insistence on bringing a five to six person management team to the HSE. The senior management team already in place in the HSE were disgruntled that a new layer would be brought in alongside or even on top of them.

It is no coincidence that on 15 June – the day that the 11 health board structures became a single national health service – they also managed to secure a CEO. This time round, the stakes were even higher, the HSE needs a CEO. Not only did Drumm secure employment after his tenure as CEO of the HSE, he has political support from the highest political rank and got agreement to all other conditions including his own management team, now known as his consultant advisors.

The post of CEO of the health service is the highest paid public service position, with responsibility for nearly 100,000 employees and a budget of €11 billion. His salary will be €400,000 plus.

There are political differences between the Taoseach and the Tánaiste and Minister for Health over Drumm's appointment. Kevin Kelly, who is close to Ahern, acted as the interim CEO of the HSE when two candidates offered the position refused it. Harney is thought/felt to have not wanted Drumm in that position, however given the urgency of the reform agenda and the urgent need for progress in health services, pressure was on for a CEO to be in place.

Negotiations renewed in the week in the run up to 15 June when the HSE finally came into its formal role as the newly structured national health service.

Additional cost of one million per year comes with Drumm's additional management people.

This team of advisors is made up of Maureen Lynott, head of the National Drug Treatment Purchase Fund, John O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer of St James' Hospital, Tommy Martin, head of Comhairle na hOspideál, Sean Mc Guire, a primary care specialist in Carlow, and Karl Anderson as his personal public relations man. Anderson is currently head of the Parents for a new Crumlin Hospital Association.

How the advisor Drumm is bringing with him and the new management structure will work together is yet to be clarified.

The current management team of the HSE is made up of ten people – Pat McLoughlin, Deputy Chief Executive with responsibility for National Director of National Hospitals Office, Aidan Browne , National Director of Primary, Community and Continuing Care Services, Dr Patrick Doorley, National Director of Population Health, Diarmuid Collins, National Director of Finance, Ms Laverne McGuinness, National Director of National Shared Services, Ms Ann Doherty, National Director of Change Management and Organisational Development, Mr John Magner, Acting National Director of Human Resources, Mr Sean Hurley, Acting National Director of Information and Communication Technology, Mr Killian McGrane, Acting National Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr John Cregan, Acting National Director of Strategic Planning and Development. As of 15 June, these people have operational responsibility for the day to day running of the health service.