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HSE’s recruitment ban: Shortage of specialist nurses wreaks havoc on the health sector

DUBLIN: Specialist Nurse Recruitment Hindered Across Ireland as HSE’s Ban Takes Toll. Despite the exemption for disability sector hiring, the nation grapples with a shortage of nurses in critical areas such as neurology.

Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, announced over 20 new nursing posts last October, specifically targeting neurology roles. The HSE-funded recruitment of 21 neurology nursing positions in Clinical Nurse Specialist and Advanced Nurse Practitioner grades faced uncertainty amidst the broader recruitment ban. While 13 nurses were successfully hired for multidisciplinary teams in epilepsy, rare progressive diseases, and headaches through alternative funds, the appointments remain pending. The recruitment hurdles, acknowledged by the HSE, are causing significant challenges in addressing the shortage of nurses in vital specialties like Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Spinal Neuromuscular.

Delays in recruitment bans at institutions like Galway University Hospital compound frustrations in the West of Ireland. The Neurological Alliance of Ireland has spearheaded a nationwide campaign advocating for the recruitment of these essential nurses. Magdalen Rogers, Executive Director of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, remains hopeful for recruitment in 2024 despite the ongoing ban, emphasising the urgent need for specialists. The Minister’s spokesperson revealed ongoing communication with the HSE regarding specialist nurse appointments, awaiting clarity on existing post numbers amid the temporary recruitment suspension.

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