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17 April 2024 - Health and Social Care Professions Alliance (HSCPA) warns Recruitment embargo threatens Patients and Professions

HSCPA Statement post

“Today is National HSCP Day, the annual celebration of the health and social care professions (HSCPs) in Ireland.

This year, our celebration of HSCPs’ essential role occurs in the midst of an enormous threat to our professions and the public to whom we serve. This threat is a direct result of the HSE recruitment embargo. As a combined healthcare professionals workforce of over 20,000 employees from 26 professions, the devastating impact of the embargo is resulting in extended waiting lists, limited care provision and serious risks for the public healthcare system.

HSCPs have been under embargo since October, meaning that when a staff member moves or leaves, replacement is not allowed. Derogations have been allowed in some acute and/or disability services, but this is ad hoc and continues to be a lengthy process impacting on HSCP recruitment and services. There is currently much confusion for HSCPs and inequity in the system. Some services are allowed a derogation yet members are reporting that other areas have been refused a derogation and face significant staffing vacancies of as much as 45% in some disciplines.

The HSCP workforce is experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. As a result, skilled HSCPs are choosing to move to employment abroad. HSCPs are being obstructed from delivering quality services and from working in partnership towards a set of national health and wellbeing outcomes. As a result of this, our service users are experiencing inequitable healthcare. This situation must be addressed immediately. We are calling on the government and the HSE to lift the recruitment embargo and ensure all available HSE recruitment resources are assigned to this with immediate effect.”

Note to Editors

The Health and Social Care Professions Alliance (HSCPA) is a grouping of the professional bodies of those professions regulated, or due to be regulated, by CORU. Current membership is growing and comprises representatives of :audiologists, counsellors, chiropodists, clinical biochemists, clinical measurement physiologists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, optometrists, social care, social workers, speech and language therapists, radiographers, radiation therapists, psychologists, psychotherapists, physiotherapists, phlebotomists, play therapists and podiatrists.

HSE HR memo 007/2024 outlines that each Health and Social Care Professions graduate 2024 is being offered a permanent contract. The HSE HR have been asked to clarify where these posts will be offered, where derogation exists and which areas can apply, but they have failed to clarify.

For further information please contact:

Dr. Marie Ó Mír
Deputy Chair HSCPA – key spokesperson
CEO Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists
087-206 6497

Jennifer Feighan
Chair HSCPA CEO Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute
086 8204762

Edel Dunphy
COO Irish Association of Speech and Language
Therapists 0872687882