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Uncertainty over release of HSE service grade doctors’ report

The HSE has not indicated a release date for a report on the future of the NCHD non-training grade.

Last August, the Director of National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP), Prof Frank Murray, told the Medical Independent (MI) the review was “nearing completion”.

The review followed a recommendation in a 2014 Department of Health-commissioned report (the MacCraith report), which said processes should be put in place “as a matter of priority” to consider how to address the “limited” career structures for these doctors.

Commenting last month, a HSE spokesperson said it had established a working group to support the delivery of the MacCraith report “which identified that career structures and pathways for Non Training Scheme Doctors (NTSDs) in the acute system required improvements. A report is being drafted to support this work, under the supervision of the working group.”

Meanwhile, the HSE said its review of the intern year was at an early stage.

“The HSE has signalled its intention to undertake a review of the intern year, working with key stakeholders. The project is at an early stage and key work streams are being identified and commenced.

“An increase in intern numbers is supported in principle but is subject to confirmation of Department of Health funding commitment, in line with the annual service plan.”

As previously reported in MI, the Board of the Medical Intern Unit wrote to the Department of Health last year “suggesting a review of the Fottrell report, in terms of the number of intern posts, given that it was over a decade since its publication and recognising current workforce challenges”.

The Department agreed that the matter should be reviewed.

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