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The Department of Health has been looking at a proposal from the National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) to allow the recruitment of cancer data registrars (CDRs) at a clerical rather than nursing grade, this newspaper understands.
The NCRI has proposed such a change to help improve recruitment issues.
“The NCRI has submitted proposals to the Department of Health regarding a change from nursing to clerical grades for cancer data registrars,” a Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).
“The proposals involve changes in regard to current staff as well as future staff.
“While there is not an issue with the principle of having CDR work done by people operating in clerical grades, the NCRI proposals present a number of issues which are being considered.”
An NCRI spokesperson confirmed that it had “submitted a business case to the Department of Health regarding a change from nursing to clerical grades for CDR posts. This remains with the Department of Health, and to date no decision had been made.”
MI first reported in September 2017 that the NCRI was considering whether its CDRs should continue to require a nursing qualification.
The topic had been discussed at NCRI board level during 2017. Board members believed that a change in the qualifications required to become a CDR could improve ongoing recruitment difficulties.
In 2017, the NCRI told MI that it had notified the relevant trade unions about its wish to change the CDR qualifications.
The NCRI is the publicly-appointed body to collect and classify information on all cancer cases in Ireland. Its activities include collecting information on all new cases in Ireland, monitoring trends and outcomes in different cancer types and publishing an annual report on cancer statistics.