Pay policy must change to address recruitment issues, says chief executive of Children’s Health Ireland

Pay policy must change to address recruitment issues, says chief executive of Children’s Health Ireland
Eilísh Hardiman

The chief executive of Children’s Health Ireland has said that there needs to be an urgent change in pay policy for new consultants.

Eilísh Hardiman told RTÉ Radio’s News at One that there had been difficulties in recruiting staff for the new urgent care facility for children which opened in Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown on Wednesday.

Children’s Health Ireland was set up earlier this year to govern and deliver acute paediatric services currently at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght Hospitals.

Ms Hardiman admitted that a number of posts in the new facility have not yet been filled because of the issue of pay.

“While we've had mixed experiences with recruitment, we do have areas that have been difficult to recruit to, pay is one of the issues.

“I fundamentally believe people in health care want to come to health care to care for, in our case, children and young people and want to work in a system that is efficient and is delivering on that, but pay is a factor and we have raised it as a concern.

“We do have to do continuous recruitment so we would like to see this actually addressed to help us achieve our objective which is to recruit highly experienced, very well qualified, excellent clinicians so that we can deliver safer, better services.

What we have is younger consultants, newer consultants, joining us which (sic) are on a different rate of pay to the consultants that are already on our team, so they're doing the same job for different pay scales.

Ms Hardiman said that the current pay policy is an issue across the health system not just for Children’s Health Ireland.

“Our ask is for a process to begin to actually address that issue.

“I've been raising this and escalating this and I see it as a challenge, we are experiencing it with recruiting our paediatric radiologists.

"We do believe there are people there who might want to come back so we actually need to recruit our best and I would like to be supported in delivering better services to do that.

“I think the Minister has acknowledged that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, the HSE also acknowledge this, we will be working with our colleagues to see how can we address this.”

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