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No trainee psychologists hired despite €38 million HSE investment - Mark Ward TD

15 August, 2022 - by 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.

Responses to Parliamentary Questions submitted by Teachta Ward revealed that over the last 5 years, the HSE has spent over €38 million on salaries and fees for trainee Clinical Psychologists.

The responses also said that due to difficulties with the approval process, the HSE has not been in a position to offer employment to any newly-qualified clinical psychologists in the same time frame.

Teachta Ward said:

“The HSE has invested over €38 million in the last 5 years on fees and salaries for Trainee Clinical Psychologists.

“In the same period the HSE did not directly recruit one newly qualified Clinical Psychologist.

“Ireland is experiencing an unprecedented demand for psychological support in Primary Care, with 10,500 children waiting for an appointment in addition to the 4,000 children waiting for an appointment with CAMHS.

“28% of Children’s Disability Network Teams posts remain unfilled.

“The HSE Report of the National Psychology Project Team estimated a need for an additional 322 psychologists in mental health services alone. The 2021 Government Disability Capacity Review stated that the number of psychologists in disability services needs to double by 2032.

“The fact that the HSE has invested so much but failed to recruit a single newly qualified Clinical Psychologist is an absolute scandal.

“There is a recruitment and retention crisis of healthcare workers right across the HSE.

“This situation is unacceptable. 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.

“Sinn Féin would expand this funding to include trainee educational and counselling Psychologists who are currently excluded from funding,

“In addition to this, we would review the panel system of recruitment to make it fit for purpose."

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