Over 55 hospitals and other healthcare providers look to recruit thousands of Irish nurses

The Irish healthcare jobs crisis continues to escalate with more hospitals and healthcare providers competing to recruit and retain healthcare professionals.

Heath Sector Jobs, a leading provider of healthcare recruitment solutions in Ireland and the UK, is set to host its second jobs fair in Dublin’s RDS on Saturday 23 April, which will see a mix of more than  55 Irish, UK, Australian and Singaporean exhibitors competing to recruit Irish and Irish based healthcare staff.

Staff shortages continue to cause problems within the Irish health system. March trolley watch figures from the INMO showed 475 people waiting for hospital beds – with more than 350 of those on trolleys. Recent negotiations between the WRC, the INMO, the HSE and the Department of Health on the overcrowding situation in A&Es have resulted in an agreement to implement new measures, including the filling of all vacant nursing posts and additional staff to deal with admitted patients. A recruitment drive is to begin for new nurses in an effort to stem the current A&E crisis.

September 2014 saw the end of the HSE’s recruitment moratorium, which resulted in hundreds of doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals moving overseas. Irish healthcare facilities were given more freedom to recruit through the HSE or directly. However, the HSE confirmed earlier this year that there was a new directive which would see recruitment being handled on a one-in-one-out basis.

However Stephen McLarnon of Health Sector Jobs, the company behind what is Ireland’s largest-ever healthcare jobs fair, claims, “Officially there is a one-in-one-out recruitment policy, but HSE employers around the country are reporting a three-out-one-in recruitment policy, which is particularly bad news if Irish employers are trying to recruit and retain nurses and doctors. In the first instance, there could be an exodus of Irish freshly qualified student nurses heading overseas in a couple of months time and this is despite Enda Kenny’s commitment that there would be jobs for all student nurses in Ireland if they wanted them.

Stephen McLarnon continues April will see between 55 and 60 Irish, UK, Australian and Singaporean employers looking to recruit directly at the fair – that is more than double that recruiting last October. Overseas hospitals are very happy to snap up Irish based nurses and doctors, and will compete with our system to attract talent especially since the HSE has reintroduced the recruitment moratorium for frontline healthcare professionals.

Amongst the prospective Irish employers attending the dedicated healthcare job fair are the University Hospital Galway, Tallaght Hospital, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, coupled with a mix of Irish private hospitals, nursing and respite homes including the Galway, Blackrock and Hermitage Clinics, Bon Secours and LauraLynn Ireland Children’s Hospital. Great Ormond Street Hospital, Epsom and St Helier, the States of Jersey, the Blackpool Teaching Hospital, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust, Aintree University Hospital and the University Hospital Birmingham and South West London & St. Georges’ Mental Health NHS Trust are among more than 25 UK hospitals and other health care providers recruiting.

Brid Johnson who is the Integrated Care Director with the NELFT NHS Foundation Trust will be in Dublin to recruit for a whole range of healthcare roles from community nurses to speech and language therapists. Having grown up outside Nenagh in Co Tipperary, Brid can relate well to the Irish healthcare jobs story as she had to leave Ireland 20 years ago to follow a career in nursing.

Brid commentsHaving to emigrate to seek job opportunities has become synonymous with healthcare jobs. 20 years ago, I had to leave Ireland, as there were a strict number of places in nursing college in Ireland. I received my nursing training in Essex, England, and worked my way up through the ranks.

Brid continuesAll healthcare providers  are trying to recruit from the same pool be it local, national or international. We benefitted in the UK from the Irish moratorium and recent reports of the one in one out policy will benefit the UK. For newly qualified people in healthcare, the opportunity to try something different with well defined professional development opportunities, with organisations like NELFT NHS Foundation Trust, in the UK, are too good to turn down.”

One of the top five children’s hospitals in the world is looking to recruit nurses to meet its growing staffing needs. A new 112-bed facility at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is due for completion in 2017, which will mean a further increase in recruitment requirements. The children’s hospital has a strong & positive track record of successfully recruiting and working with Irish nurses and on that basis is to attend Ireland’s largest healthcare job fair run by Health Sector Jobs on Saturday, 23rd April in Dublin.

According to Jacqueline Robinson-Rouse [Nursing Workforce Lead], “The additional state of the art building means the hospital is launching a huge recruitment drive. Historically the hospital has consistently recruited large numbers of nurses from Ireland who are valued members of our clinical teams due to their excellent training, clinical skills, knowledge and commitment. Working at Great Ormond Street Hospital offers great opportunities for nurses looking to specialise – we say that we don’t offer jobs, we offer careers.

There are other barriers to entry into the Irish healthcare system. Under the HSE, overseas nurses working in Ireland are required to carry out English language proficiency tests to ensure their communications skills are up to scratch. In addition, Irish nurses returning home from abroad must also apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for their nursing PIN before they can work. Reported backlogs and administrative delays mean Irish born nurses can wait between 7 and 8 weeks for their pin while it can be as long as 6 to 8 months for overseas nursing staff.

The healthcare job fair takes place at the Serpentine Hall, RDS on Saturday, 23 April between 10am and 4pm. Pre-registration is required and entry is free of charge.  http://www.healthsectorjobs.com/Dublin

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