Letterkenny University Hospital
Over €5million has been spent on temporary agency staff in Letterkenny University Hospital so far this year, new figures show.
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has accused the government and the HSE of continuing to waste huge sums of public money on the use of temporary agency staff in Letterkenny University Hospital because they cannot resolve the recruitment and retention crisis.
“Figures released to by the HSE to my colleague Louise O’Reilly TD have shown that so far this year the HSE have spent over €114 million euro on costly agency and locum doctors, nurses, and other staff in order to fill posts left vacant due to the recruitment and retention crisis.
“The overreliance on the use of costly and more expensive agency staff is a direct result of the recruitment and retention crisis and has escalated under this government with the total amount spent on agency staff in hospitals amongst doubling since 2011.
“This situation was replicated in Letterkenny University Hospital where €5.3 million was spent on agency staff so far this year. This is a huge amount of money and it is not being spent effectively because temporary agency staff are way more expensive than directly employed staff.
“The nursing crisis which the government refuse to address is having a huge impact in our hospitals and it is the same in Donegal. To overcome the recruitment and retention crisis, our county's major hospital is forced to fill vacant posts with temporary, costly agency staff.
“The reason hospitals have to rely on this staffing mechanism to fill vacant posts is because the HSE and the government have failed to address the recruitment and retention crisis.
“Health service staff and their unions have consistently reported working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities and pay as the cause of the recruitment and retention crisis, and until these issues are addressed the crisis will continue and these staggering sums of money will be spent on agency staff at Letterkenny hospital and across the State.”