Recruitment process of newly-qualified clinical psychologists requires urgent review - Mark Ward TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called for a full review into the recruitment process of newly-qualified clinical psychologists.
In response to a Parliamentary Question, the HSE has confirmed that, over the last five or more years, due to difficulties with the approval process, the HSE has not been in a position to offer employment to newly-qualified clinical psychologists.
Teachta Ward said:
“Based on HSE salary scales, a trainee clinical psychologist is currently supported by the HSE to the tune of almost €150,000 over three years through salary and contributions towards fees.
“The HSE recruits approximately 60 trainee clinical psychologists annually, and inserts a payback clause in their contracts that insists that they must work for the HSE when they have completed their training.
“Despite this, the HSE has informed me that over the last five or more years, due to difficulties with the process of getting approvals, they have not been in a position to offer employment to newly-qualified clinical psychologists.
“This situation is unacceptable. We currently have almost 13,000 people waiting on primary care psychology, the vast majority of whom are children.
“Not one of the 91 community disability network teams are fully staffed with a national average staff vacancy rate of 28%.
“There is obviously a problem in the HSE’s recruitment panel system.
“A graduate doctor of clinical psychology, having worked three years with the HSE, must join this panel system to be employed in the HSE.
“The panel system does not allow direct entry into the HSE and does not take into consideration geographical preferences.
“The HSE must review their recruitment system and to make sure its fit for purpose.
“There is a recruitment crisis and retention of staff within the HSE and their own recruitment process is working against them tackling this crisis.”