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HSE told of ‘small number’ of non-regulated staff in medical scientist posts

By Catherine Reilly - 10th Jun 2024

medical scientist posts

The HSE was informed of “a small number of instances” where laboratory agency staff without CORU registration may have been placed into medical scientist posts, according to a spokesperson.

“It was brought to the attention of the HSE that there were a small number of instances where hospitals may have accepted the placement of agency staff as ‘medical scientists’ although the person concerned had not completed the required process or registration as a ‘medical scientist’,” a spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI). “The HSE issued an unequivocal communication to ensure that hospitals were fully aware of their obligations in this regard so that this does not recur.”

As previously reported in MI, the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association has expressed its concern about these occurrences.

A HSE review to inform the strategic direction of laboratory medicine, dated January 2024, referenced a “severe staffing crisis” amid increasing demand and urgency in catching up with care delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Laboratory medicine was experiencing an “unsustainable level of vacancies, which is already leading to reduced level of service, increased out-sourcing, and delayed turnaround times”, it found.

The HSE’s spokesperson said that staff in public laboratories “continue to work with commitment” to prioritise the most urgent samples and to gain efficiencies where possible. “It continues to be very challenging to manage and meet the growing demand for laboratory services and addressing staffing deficits remains a challenge,” they added.

A new HSE strategy for laboratory services, which will cover the period 2025 to 2029, will be presented to the executive management team in the third quarter of this year under current timelines.

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