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Almost 20 consultant posts vacant at Letterkenny

There are 19.3 whole-time equivalent (WTE) consultant posts vacant across “a range of medical and surgical specialties” at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH).

“All posts are currently filled by [a] locum, apart from 3.8 WTE,” of which one WTE will be filled by a permanent consultant in forthcoming weeks, according to a spokesperson for Saolta University Health Care Group.

“There are ongoing consultant campaigns with the Public Appointments Services for the filling of permanent consultant positions in the following specialties: Orthopaedics; obstetrics and gynaecology; microbiology; anaesthetics; nephrology; radiology; and geriatric medicine.

“Local recruitment campaigns are also underway to fill vacant posts on a locum/ temporary basis across all specialties, as and when required.”

Sixty of the hospital’s consultants are on the Medical Council’s specialist register, while six doctors employed as consultants are not on the specialist register, Saolta’s spokesperson told the Medical Independent

Difficulties recruiting consultants have been discussed at Saolta’s board meetings, with these challenges especially evident at LUH “due to location”.

Meanwhile, Saolta and the HSE have completed a mini-tender to recruit an “insourcing company” to provide additional endoscopy capacity within the Group in the evenings and at weekends. “Dates will be scheduled until year-end to maximise the amount of patients to be seen,” according to Saolta’s spokesperson.

“Funding has been sanctioned for 2,734 patients initially; there is flexibility to increase this as required by each site. This increased access is very much welcomed considering the loss of activity and capacity due to Covid-19 and
the disruption of the cyberattack over the last 18 months.

“The inclusion/exclusion criteria differs from site to site. Common inclusion criteria across model 3 and model 4 hospitals include diagnostic colonoscopy, gastroscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and routine, urgent, and suspected cancer target. Common exclusion criteria include inpatients, paediatric patients, and therapeutic endoscopy.”

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