HSE mounts return to work scheme to attract Laois nurses back to hospitals to fill vacant posts

Return to work programme in Tullamore as HSE heavily reliant on agency staff to address shortages at its hospitals in Laois and Offaly

By Conor Ganly

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By Conor Ganly

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Return to nursing

HSE in midlands to hold six week programme.

The HSE is encouraging people in Laois who have left nursing to take part in a six week programme in the hope they will return to nursing.

The executive has advertised locally inviting people to attend a six week Return to Nursing Practice Programme at the regional centre in Tullamore.

Recent evidence revealed the cost being incurred to hospitals, service and the HSE in differant ways due to the shortage of nurses. 

Up to 15 nursing and other agencies are being used in the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise to fill 104 full time posts the HSE confirmed this month. 

There are just over 243 nurses on the staff of Portaloise hospital. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation told the Leinster Express recently that there are 20 vacant nurses posts in the hospital.

There are some 358 full time nursing posts at its sister hospital in Tullamore. The HSE uses 15 agencies to supply 108 nursing and other posts at the Offaly hospital.

Last December staff shortages were highlighted by the Health Information and Quality Authority in a follow up report to its investigation into maternity and other services at Portlaoise hospital. 

The HIQA review team found that the hospital is funded to have 70 midwives but there were just 48 on staff and 10 of these were unavailable due to sick leave. HIQA was also told by staff that staff shortages was hitting staff morale but also affecting patient care.

The course commencing on May 8 this year. The course will take place in the Regional Centre of Nursing and Midwifery, Education in Tullamore. 

Further information and application forms are available from frances.neville@hse.ie telephone 0579358752/51 The closing date for receipt of completed application is March 24 2017