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Report on Nursing and Midwifery 'welcome' but job guarantee essential for retaining graduates – David Cullinane TD

30 March, 2022 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has welcomed the publication of the Report of the Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery, which has made a series of strategic recommendations for enhancing and supporting the nursing and midwifery profession.

However, the Waterford TD said that a major omission from the recommendations was a job guarantee for nursing and midwifery graduates to retain them in the public system, and to attract Irish graduates back if they travel abroad for training or experience.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Sinn Féin would offer a job guarantee for nurses, midwives, and other health and social care graduates to keep them in the public service.

“This is particularly important to prevent migration of highly skilled graduates at a time when the public system is under severe pressure from understaffing.

“When they do travel abroad for work experience or further training, it is important that Irish graduates always know that they are wanted back home and there is a job waiting for them if they return.

“The Report of the Expert Review Body on Nursing and Midwifery is a very welcome development, though it would be strengthened by addressing this point.

“It recognises the need for strategic workforce planning and a joined up approach across Departments, professional regulatory bodies, the HSE, and Higher Education Institutions.

“Unfortunately, that approach has been lacking to date. The Department of Health and the HSE need to make sure that this work is not done in silos and that there is a joined-up approach right across health and social care.

“There is also a major demand for medical specialists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists – you name it, we are not training enough graduates across almost every health and social care profession.

“The Department and the HSE need to be proactive when recruiting nurses and health and social care graduates – they need to engage with students in their final year to ensure graduation, advise on employment options in the public health service, and streamline recruitment.

“This Report is a template which must be applied and replicated across health and social care professions as part of a strategic, joined up workforce development plan to support frontline workers and ensure patients have access to timely treatment in the right place, at the right time.”

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