October 20, 2020
News

Vacant posts in health sector putting Kilkenny patients at extreme risk

By COLIN BARTLEY

Patients in Kilkenny are at extreme risk due to a Health Service Executive (HSE) ban on recruitment.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) made the warning this week, saying numerous positions in the health service are vacant due to an embargo on hiring.

The INMO produced a list of vacant posts, it includes:

  • 103 staff midwife roles and over 50 temporary posts on labour wards
  • 325 permanent staff nurse roles and 120 temporary nursing posts
  • Unfilled roles in palliative care, emergency departments, care of the elderly, and theatre staff

AN INMO spokesperson said the list is just “the tip of the iceberg”, as it only contains unfilled posts which union members have highlighted.

“The recruitment ban in nursing and midwifery has got to go,” said INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.

“Patients are being put at extreme risk, with essential services being taken from the most vulnerable. Before the ban, we had understaffing and overcrowding. Refusing to fill vacant posts is adding fuel to the flames.

“The HSE seems determined to make the problem even worse. These figures make a mockery of the claim that frontline services are being protected.

“This approach to cutting costs has been tried before and it has failed before. Short staffing drives up costs by delaying care and forcing reliance of expensive agency staff.”

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