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More than 1,100 nursing vacancies exist at public hospitals nationally

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The data highlights that huge challenges remain in the recruitment and rentention of nurses in Ireland, despite ongoing efforts by the HSE.

Information supplied to the Medical Independent (MI) by Hospital Groups nationally shows that 1,125 WTE nursing positions are unfilled.

The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group has more than 242 WTE nurse vacancies, with over 106 vacancies at St James’s Hospital.

Within the RCSI Hospital Group, there are almost 200 WTE vacant nurse positions, with more than 77 WTE positions vacant in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, alone.

At the University of Limerick (UL) Hospital Group, at the end of August there were 130.31 WTE nurse vacancies.

The commencement of new nursing staff in September and October and the appointment of 44 pre-registered nurses would reduce the figure, a spokesperson said.

Across the nine hospitals within the South/South West Hospital Group, there are currently 175 vacant nursing posts, mainly comprising staff nurse and staff midwife grades.

“A proportionate number of these posts will be filled with our nursing graduates in the coming weeks. Additionally, a number of international nurses are currently being processed through the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI),” said a spokesperson.

The Saolta University Healthcare Group has reported 60 WTE nurse vacancies, made up of 30 staff nurse vacancies in Galway University Hospital (GUH) and 30 WTE vacancies in specialist areas such as midwifery, paediatrics, theatre and ICU.

At Ireland East Hospital Group, which includes 11 hospitals, there are over 245 nurse vacancies. At the Mater Hospital at the end of September, there were 65.33 WTE vacancies.

According to a spokesperson for the Children’s Hospital Group (Phoenix Children’s Health), which comprises three hospitals, there are almost 73 vacant WTE nurse positions.

At Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, there are vacancies for two clinical nurse managers and 24.5 staff nurses.

There were no vacancies at the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital (NCHTH).

Several of the Hospital Groups outlined imminent recruitments that would reduce the number of vacancies.

According to Minister for Health Simon Harris, all 2017 nursing and midwifery graduates will be offered permanent contracts by the HSE.

The 2017 Nursing and Midwifery Agreement commits to 1,224 nursing posts being put in place by the end of December.

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