Six hundred leave Letterkenny hospital over three years

Aerial view of the Letterkenny University Hospital campus. Picture: Declan Doherty

SIX HUNDRED staff have resigned or retired from their posts at Letterkenny University Hospital over the past three years, new figures show.
It comes amid reports of low morale and ongoing industrial relations problems within the Health Service Executive.
The statistics show that a total of 364 medical/dental staff left their posts in LUH between September 2014 and September 2017. The vast majority of those resigned (361) while there has been a net increase of four (368) staff employed during the same three year period.
In total, 537 staff resigned (General support staff 18, Health and Social Care professionals 36, managers and administrators 13, medical/dental 361, nursing 97, other patient and client care 12) while 63 retired. There has been a net increase of 158 staff in the three year period.
The issues was raised by Cllr Ciaran Brogan who asked how many new staff have been employed in LUH in the last three years, and in which areas. He also asked whether there was still a recruitment embargo in place.
In reply, Ms Ann Cosgrve, COO, Saolta University Health Care Group, said there was no embargo in place in any area in relation to the recruitment of staff.
“All new staff replacement bids go through a formal process within Saolta. Decisions on like for like replacements, such as those for retirees or resignations are taken within the hospital. Funded and unfunded service development posts are dealt with under the Performance Review process, with the senior management team in Saolta,” she said.
Cllr Brogan said the high turn-over of staff was disruptive for both the hospital and patients.
“We need to take a serious look at the whole recruitment model. We’re exporting our young, educated professional people to all four corners of the world when we should be doing what we can to make it more attractive for them to stay at home.
“It’s not just a monetary thing. It can’t be doing staff morale any good to see such a high turnover while it’s also terrible for the patient who is looking for continuity of service. They want to be able to see the same doctor throughout the course of their treatment.
“At present, we’re employing far too many agency staff while it’s also taking to long to repalce saff who do leave LUH for whatever reasons,” Cllr Brogan said.

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