Thursday, 10 October 2019
Department of Health
Hospital Staff Recruitment
87. To ask the Minister for Health the reason the necessary staff have not been recruited to ensure that the paediatric outpatient department and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital can be operational from 8 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week, as was previously committed; and when the full staff complement will be in place. [40977/19]
The new Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Unit at Connolly opened on the 31st July 2019. The current hours of opening for the Outpatients Department are from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. The Urgent Care Unit is being opened on a phased basis and the opening hours are currently between 10am and 5pm The phased opening is in line with best practice and has allowed CHI to monitor and review their processes, provide on the job training for staff and assess and monitor patient safety.
CHI has acknowledged that there are recruitment challenges nationally and internationally in certain specialties, specifically in relation to Paediatric Radiology and Paediatric Emergency Medicine. While the initial recruitment campaign for emergency medicine has been successful there are temporary vacancies in CHI due to maternity and backfill requirements for Paediatric Emergency Medicine posts. There are 2 Paediatric Radiology posts vacant and CHI is currently recruiting for these posts and working on a pipeline for future radiologists.
CHI is continuing to actively work with Consultants to review services at the Urgent Care Unit since it opened so that it can work within existing resources towards increasing the existing opening hours at the Unit Monday to Friday and ultimately to deliver services at weekends.