A new workplace health and wellbeing service for NCHDs launched this week.
The NCHD hub will offer support with occupational health assessments to NCHDs. Services include:
- Advice on workplace adjustment for psychological and medical issues
- Disability and work advice
- Work-related stress support
- Fitness for work assessments
- Psychological support relating to the role
The resource is available to those who have an NCHD contract with the HSE or a Section 38 service. It can be accessed by self-referral or via a referral from local occupational health services, medical manpower, national specialty director, or relevant training body.
Mr Bernard Gloster, HSE CEO, said: “NCHDs represent approximately 5 per cent of the HSE workforce and their wellbeing is vitally important. This is a very significant service development,with benefits for our doctors and our patients as a result.”
The hub is one of the recommendations of the national taskforce on NCHD workforce interim report published in 2023.
The final report is due to be published this year.
In addition to the development of a hub for NCHDs, a number of infrastructure standards to improve working conditions of NCHDs have been implemented.
These include: Enhanced rest facilities; refurbishment of change facilities; increased locker security and ICT supports.
Ms Anne Marie Hoey, HSE National Director of Human Resources, welcomed the launch of the NCHD hub.
Ms Hoey said: “This development follows the identification of the requirement to provide this support for the health of the NCHD workforce who are a transient group within our health service and will benefit from access to a hub when they require it.”
The NCHD hub will provide enhanced case management for NCHDs, who rotate annually from one site to another, many up to four times per year. Additionally, the service will be networked to all training sites around the country.
For further details see the HSE website here.
In December, the IMO announced NCHDs expect to call a ballot for industrial action early this year in response to the recent HSE recruitment embargo.
In 2022, some 97 per cent of NCHDs voted in favour of taking industrial action, up to and including strike action, as part of a campaign to address dangerous working hours and other issues. That led to a breakthrough agreement with healthcare management which promised to address various matters.
The IMO said it believes that this agreement is now being undermined by the recruitment embargo.