*Recruiting process to hire nurses can take up to 4 months
Local Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has received confirmation from the HSE that the Midland Regional Hospital is holding more local interviews to address nursing shortages at the hospital.
“Having raised concerns about how slow the centralised recruitment process can be, I am glad to get confirmation from the HSE’s National Recruitment Service (NRS) that local interviews have been taking place to fill nursing positions at Mullingar Hospital.
“According to the NRS, which is responsible for the delivery of recruitment services for the HSE, more local interviews are to be held for nursing positions at Mullingar, Portlaoise and Tullamore hospitals. Given that it can take up to four months to fill a position through the NRS’ centralised service, I hope that local interviews can help address the nursing staff shortfall in a timelier manner.
“Information I received from the NRS indicates that processing times to fill positions can take up to 16 weeks. Where candidates have already gone through a selection process, the average time from offer of post, to full clearance, including Garda clearance, to issue of contract can take up to 8 weeks. However, where a panel is not in place, the process involving applications accepted, eligibility, shortlisting and interviews, a further 8 weeks can be added.
“The NRS informed me it processed more than 3,500 appointments last year, a large percentage of which related to nursing positions. The NRS says that the significant increase in the requirement for nurses has presented challenges and it has put in a number of strategies to expedite the recruitment process. These include seeking specialist nurses from overseas through a recruitment agency and designing a campaign particularly targeted at Irish graduates working in the UK.
“On a broader level, I hope that discussions currently taking place between the INMO and the HSE regarding staff shortages will be resolved without the need for industrial action at Mullingar Hospital. As I keep saying, everybody at the hospital is doing a tremendous job in very difficult circumstances and they must be supported. And I also keep saying, it is unacceptable that any person should be forced to lie on a trolley, especially our elderly and most vulnerable.”