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NDTP has commenced review of consultant recruitment in model 3 hospitals

By Catherine Reilly - 26th Apr 2022

HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) has commenced a review of consultant recruitment difficulties in model 3 hospitals, led by its Medical Director Dr Brian Kinirons, according to the Executive. 

NDTP has appointed a project manager and formed a representative steering group, a spokesperson added. 

The HSE National Service Plan 2022 committed to compiling a report to “address consultant recruitment and retention challenges in model 3 hospitals through a structured review with recommended actions for implementation”. 

The NDTP’s Medical Workforce Report 2020-2021 noted “significant challenges” for model 3 hospitals in regard to consultant recruitment. “Over one-third of all consultants working in these hospitals are 55 years old or over, model 3 hospitals are more likely to employ consultants not on the specialist register as well as consultants in non-permanent posts that have not been approved by the CAAC [consultant applications advisory committee],” wrote Ms Leah O’Toole, Assistant National Director, NDTP, in the report foreword. 

Of the 4 per cent of consultants working in posts not approved by the CAAC, the greatest proportion of these were in model 3 hospitals, which was broadly similar to 2019, according to the report. 

Consultants in model 3 hospitals were more likely than consultants in model 4 hospitals to hold general registration with the Medical Council. 

Additionally, the report noted that non-training NCHD posts tended to be concentrated in certain specialties and geographical locations, particularly clinical specialties in which unscheduled care was delivered on a 24/7 basis and in peripherally located model 2 and model 3 hospitals. 

“Safe and timely service delivery in the Irish healthcare system is dependent on these posts and the doctors who occupy them. However, unlike training posts, there is not the same rigorous oversight of their numbers and regulation.” 

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