Thursday 23 November 2017

Just 13 more nurses in HSE despite recruitment pledge

More than 650 patients have been waiting more than a year for a colonoscopy, while cancer referral targets are not being met. (Stock picture)
More than 650 patients have been waiting more than a year for a colonoscopy, while cancer referral targets are not being met. (Stock picture)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

There was a net increase of just 13 nurses in the health service by August - despite a pledge to recruit 1,224 more full-time staff this year.

The independently verified census figures from the HSE, which were given to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), compared the number of permanent nurses in the workforce with the number in December.

The trend shows the ongoing hurdles faced by hospitals to recruit and retain nurses.

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO general secretary designate, said the commitment was that any nurse who left would be replaced but that was not being achieved. "A lot of people are leaving. They are not being paid properly and their job is too difficult," she said.

The HSE offered all 1,550 new nursing graduates a job this year. Some 200 were recruited.

But retirements and resignations mean the net increase after nine months was just 13.

Ms Ní Sheaghdha said while the HSE includes student nurses in its workforce figures, they should be excluded. They are in a training placement and not recruited.

Irish Independent

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