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Cyberattack exacerbated recruitment difficulties

The cyberattack on the HSE earlier this year “significantly” impacted the longstanding recruitment challenges faced by the health service, the Medical Independent can report. According to the HSE’s corporate risk register (CRR), which was approved by the HSE’s executive management team in September, “workforce and recruitment” is noted as one of the 18 red risks out of a total of 28 risks listed.

The impact of the cyberattack on recruitment was added to the long-standing workforce planning difficulties.“There is a risk to effectiveness of health services potentially leading to a prolonged, widespread reduction in the quality and consistency of care and repeated failure to achieve standards as a result of, challenges related to the scale of recruitment outlined under the Winter Plan,” reads the CRR.

Other reasons noted by the HSE’s risk register for the recruitment problems include: The current shortage of critical staff, in particular clinical staff who have the required skills and professional qualifications and “the high reliance on agency staff”; the shortage of qualified candidates both nationally and internationally; “consultants not on the specialist division register”; challenges relating to the recruitment and retention of medical, clinical, and other critical workforce grades; and Covid-19 related absence leading to a reduced workforce.

The CRR also noted that the “cyberattack impacted recruitment significantly in 2021 from the perspective of attracting, recruiting, and retaining candidates both nationally and internationally in a non-digital environment”

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