Concerns over recruitment timeline targets in the HSE National Service Plan 2022 are included in the new HSE corporate risk register (CRR).
The new CRR was approved by the HSE’s executive management team on 8 March.
The CRR seen by the Medical Independent (MI) has undergone significant changes, with the number of risks streamlined to 17. There were previously 27 risks included in the CRR for the third quarter of 2021.
The ‘red risks’ in the recently updated CRR include “workforce and recruitment”. Under this risk, the CRR notes that there is “a risk to [the] effectiveness of current and new health services potentially leading to a prolonged, widespread reduction in the quality and consistency of care”.
This risk is “as a result of the combined scale, labour market supply and timeline envisaged under the HSE’s national service plan”.
According to the entry, there are “challenges relating to the recruitment and retention of critical clinical professions, specific skills and grades that are in short supply, both domestically and internationally, alongside the potential impact of the current environment (emerging from Covid-19), coupled with the ongoing risk and impact of Covid-19-related absence, all leading to a reduced workforce.”
The HSE National Service Plan 2022 was published on 1 March with a target to recruit an additional 5,500-10,000 whole-time equivalent staff this year. As reported by MI in April, HSE Chair Mr Ciarán Devane wrote to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on 10 February stating that the HSE was committed to maximising the number of staff recruited in 2022.
“At the same time, we acknowledge the unpredictable nature of the labour market during the year,” outlined Mr Devane.
Other ‘red risks’ on the CRR include “antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections”, “sustainability of screening services”, and “digital environment and cyber failure”.