Roisin Shortall TD

The HSE’s recruitment freeze is preventing the recruitment of funded specialist nursing posts, according to Social Democrats health spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“In a reply to a parliamentary question I submitted, it was confirmed that 13 specialist nursing posts in neurological services remain unfilled. Even though funding for these positions was provided in Budget 2022, the moratorium has stalled the recruitment process.

“At the Health Committee today, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland confirmed that funds were not released, and the posts were not advertised, until April/May 2023. This left an extremely tight window for hospitals to advertise and attract staff to these vital posts before the recruitment freeze came into effect in October last year.

“It is absurd that posts funded in Budget 2022 are caught up in the current moratorium. This is another real-world example of the impact of this Government’s regressive and short-sighted recruitment freeze on patient care.

“These specialist nurse shortages lead to longer hospital stays, delayed rehabilitation, higher dependency rates and negatively impact patient’s quality of life following diagnosis.

“Over 860,000 people throughout the country are living with a neurological condition and as many as 50,000 people are diagnosed with one each year. This includes those with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and Huntington’s disease.

“Funding that has already been committed to specialist neurology nurses needs to be translated into staff on the ground.”

May 15, 2024

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