Newry Times Exclusive: Seven consultancy posts in Daisy Hill unfilled | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Newry Times Exclusive: Seven consultancy posts in Daisy Hill unfilled

At least seven consultancy posts in Daisy Hill Hospital are unfilled according to information obtained by the SDLP. Reacting to the claims, the Department of Health said health trusts were actively trying to fill the vacancies.The SDLP’s information also alleged that according to managers in the health service, part of the ongoing crisis in accident and emergency care is due to the lack of consultants willing to work in this area of health care.

Daisy Hill is one of the hospitals within the Southern Trust area which has struggled to fill vacant consultancy posts

The chief executive of the Northern Health Trust, Sean Donaghy, rejected suggestions that vacancies were not being filled to save money. Speaking this week to the BBC, he said, “We are not holding posts in order to save funds. Our drive has been to increase the medical staff complement. There are no areas where vacancies have been held in order to save funds. There is a national shortage of trained doctors to work in A&E as a whole. The staff are not available to be able to take up the posts.”

Speaking to Newry Times, a spokesman for the Southern Trust said that none of the vacant posts were in the Emergency Departments. The spokesman said, “The Vacancy Survey from September 2011 found that consultant vacancies were actively being recruited in Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital. Since September 2011, 5 additional consultants have been recruited to work in Emergency Departments at both Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital. Of the 19 vacancies that were reported in this survey, 14 are now filled. The remaining vacancies are new posts which have been created due to service expansion and are in the recruitment process.”

He continued, “Vacancies may arise for a number of reasons; from the creation of new posts due to expansion or because we need to replace staff members who have left. The Trust is very proactive in trying to fill any vacancies but in a small number of specialist areas, attracting suitable applicants is an ongoing challenge. This is reflective of the position nationally and is not just a problem particular to Trusts in Northern Ireland.”

Reiterating to the public that the vacancies were not due to lack of finance, the Spokesman for the Trust added, “No posts are held vacant for financial reasons.”

Irwin has sympathy with the Trust in trying to fill the positions

Local DUP MLA William Irwin said that while the need to fill these vacancies remains urgent, he does sympathize with the Trust in finding suitable candidates. He stated, “As my discussions with various experts has revealed, it is not always easy to achieve this in a short timescale. There are certain specialties where there are on-going difficulties in getting the right applicants with the right skills and this can be for a variety of reasons.”

Irwin’s opposite number, the UUP’s Danny Kennedy, was not as sympathetic. He said, “I am aware that there are suggestions that the vacancies in Daisy Hill’s A&E are down to the Trust cutting costs, if this is true it is simply unforgivable. Any shortage in staff will heap unnecessary pressure on the hospital, putting peoples’ lives at risk and causing a deal of stress for the staff trying to cope.”

He added, “I recognise there are no quick fixes when it comes to recruiting consultants, but it is absolutely essential that we in Northern Ireland look at every option to fill the consultants posts which are currently vacant.”

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Posted by on Apr 5 2012. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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