I propose to take Questions Nos. 234 to 236, inclusive, together.
In September 2012, following intensive engagement between health service management and the consultant representative bodies at the Labour Relations Commission, a comprehensive set of measures was agreed. The agreement encompasses a range of flexibilities to enhance productivity and efficiency and to maximise the availability of consultants, as key clinical decision-makers. These arrangements are to be given effect as determined by service needs in any particular hospital and resource considerations. Management across the hospital service have been instructed by the HSE to implement the agreement with effect from November 2012.
I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy with detailed information in relation to progress at hospital level in implementing the various aspects of the agreement. The extent to which any hospital would utilise the range of flexibilities agreed would vary depending on the nature of services provided.