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According to hospital board minutes for April 2016, the funding will allow the hospital to increase the complement of orthopaedic surgeons from 2.38 whole-time equivalents (WTEs) to 3.86 WTEs by the end of the year for orthopaedic elective trauma and spinal surgery.
“This investment includes staffing for the new theatre, with the majority of the investment to commence in quarter four of 2016, which will enable the theatre to operate three days per week,” according to the minutes.
In spite of the additional funding, recruitment challenges remain across a number of areas.
The board minutes state additional nursing staff have been recruited into the intensive care unit, adding, however, that challenges continue with the recruitment of theatre staff, while NCHD recruitment had also encountered some challenges.
It was noted that an international recruitment process has been undertaken for orthopaedic surgery.
Interviews for the post of consultant general paediatrician, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and consultant anaesthetist were also scheduled to take place in the near future.
During the previous month’s board meeting, the fact that no suitable candidates were shortlisted for interview for the post of consultant paediatric intensivist was discussed and it was noted that the hospital will not be progressing with the recruitment of these posts at this time.
During the March meeting, it was also noted that the hospital is continuing to see an increase in patients attending the emergency department, which has had a significant impact on the management of beds and elective capacity.
A short-term solution has been reached for the management of patients waiting an extended period for GI scopes, which will allow a backlog of patients to be treated in Tallaght Hospital.