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Staff shortages at St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Services in Portrane must be addressed urgently

29/07/2016

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has said action must be taken urgently to address the staff shortages at St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Services in Portrane.

“I recently raised the issue of staff shortages at St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Services in Portrane with the HSE. This is a matter of concern for many people in our community as we must ensure that those benefitting from the services provided receive the best possible care. In order to do this, we must ensure that there are adequate staffing levels in place.

“The HSE have informed me that the staff shortages have largely resulted from basic nurse grades being promoted to senior posts, and this has caused a number of vacancies at basic grade level. However, from the information I have received, the HSE have attempted to fill these vaccines but have not successful done so as of yet. I do not believe the situation as it currently stands can be accepted. It is of the utmost importance to fill these vacancies urgently to ensure the best possible care is provided to every single person in St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Services.

“The staff that are currently there are doing hard and important work in our community, which benefits people from across the North County. However, until such a time as the existing vacancies are filled, they are surely facing an increased workload.

“I am pleased that the HSE have stated that the on-going care of residents in St. Joseph’s Intellectual Disability Services is an on-going priority for them. I understand that difficulties may exist in terms of encouraging nurses to take positions in the Dublin region due to the higher cost of living, and this is an issue which Government must tackle through addressing the pay needs of entry level nurses.

“While action has been taken to mitigate the impact of this staff shortages through the redeployment of nursing and health care assistant staff to front line services, the maximisation of all nursing bank staff where possible, and the usage of staff from nursing agencies on three month rolling contracts, I believe the appropriate action must be taken to ensure these vacancies are filled with the utmost urgency. The HSE have undertaken a national recruitment campaign to fill these vacancies with limited success.

“I have communicated my views to the Minister for Health with a view to ensuring appropriate action is taken to fill these important jobs which benefit so many people in our local community.”