Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Health

Health Services Staff

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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384. To ask the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to retain and recruit recent nursing graduates to address the staffing shortage in the HSE. [2684/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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My Department is heavily invested in the ongoing education of healthcare staff to support recruitment and retention. Data from Health in Ireland Key Trends 2022(DOH 2022) shows that students graduating as both undergraduate and postgraduate in medicine, pharmacy and nursing and midwifery increased consistently between 2014 and 2020, with the total number of students graduating increasing by 30% (from 4,841 to 6,264). Out of the total 6,264 graduates in 2020, 59.7% were from nursing and midwifery.

Health and Social Care workforce planning and ensuring an appropriate pipeline of suitably qualified healthcare professionals is a top priority. In addition, the HSE has been engaging in a programme of work to attract essential talent, to meet the needs of our health service now and in the future. Over the past couple of years, the HSE have worked in partnership with service areas to enhance recruitment capability across our health service. All nursing and midwifery graduates are being offered permanent contracts in our health service.

The following initiatives are currently available to Nursing and Midwifery graduates:

- Opportunity to work in and across specialty locations

- Professional Development and mentorship programmes

- Additional Career pathways: in recent years there has been an increase in Advanced Nurse Practitioner roles and the introduction of an Enhanced Nurse Contract (subject to qualifying criteria).

- Career opportunities across specialist and advanced practice roles and clinical leadership roles which are important factors to attracting and retaining nurses and midwivesinto the workforce and these continue to grow in community settings under Sláintecare.

- Additional Advanced Nurse/Midwife Practitioner (ANMP) posts.

Clinical nurse and midwife specialist posts and advanced practice offer career pathways for nurses and midwives. This supports retention of our nursing and midwifery workforce, including new graduates. In November 2021, I requested that the number of nurses and midwives practising at an advanced level across the health service be increased from 2% of the workforce to 3% over the next three years with additional funding of €11 million to support this. With this funding, 149 additional WTE Advanced Nurse/ Midwifery Practitioners (ANMP) were recruited bringing the total numbers of ANMPs to 880. Further WTE ANMPs will be recruited for 2023 in line with the 3% target.

The Report on the Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery 2022 published in March 2022 contained 47 recommendations. Their implementation will support nurses and midwives to continue to learn and develop in their professional roles, enabling significant reform and ensuring that critical Sláintecare priorities are realised. Priorities for implementation include review and reform of the undergraduate training programme to deliver more capacity, alignment with delivering integrated nursing and midwifery care, increasing postgraduate training in community care, and increasing care through digital solutions as well as recruitment and retention.

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein)
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385. To ask the Minister for Health the number of assaults recorded against medical, nursing, midwifery and other health and social care professionals across HSE hospitals and community healthcare facilities by each month in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2689/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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This question relates to operational matters and has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein)
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386. To ask the Minister for Health the number of assaults recorded against medical, nursing, midwifery and other health and social care professionals across HSE hospitals and community healthcare facilities to date in January 2023; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2690/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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This question relates to operational matters and has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein)
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387. To ask the Minister for Health the number of assaults recorded against medical, nursing, midwifery and other health and social care professionals across HSE hospitals and community healthcare facilities by each month in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2691/23]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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This question relates to operational matters and has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

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