The fact that there are almost 67 fulltime permanent and temporary nursing/midwifery vacancies at Galway University Hospitals (UHG and Merlin Park ) was “alarming”, a city councillor said this week.
Cllr Padraic Conneely told a meeting of the HSE West’s regional health forum that he was concerned by this figure and wondered what was the “blockage” when Galway was such a good place in which to live and work.
Ann Cosgrove, the chief operations officer of the Saolta University Health Care Group, which runs the hospitals, said GUH is continuing to recruit for the vacant posts.
“We are running rolling campaigns on the HSE website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on the Saolta website. We are holding rolling interviews every two weeks and Skype interviews are available to those that reside abroad.”
Cllr Conneely said Skype was a “very novel” way to interview people rather than the “old way” of sitting down and talking to applicants. He added that from what he knew Skype was used by people living abroad to “keep romance alive”.
Chris Kane, the general manager of Galway University Hospitals, said some of the nursing vacancies were temporary while others were permanent positions. She said the hospitals experienced challenges recruiting specialist nurses in theatre and cancer services. It was clear, she stated that some nurses like to travel and gain further expertise abroad.
While some interviews were conducted through Skype, others were carried out face-to-face, she added.
The meeting heard that in addition to the nursing vacancies there were almost 35 permanent and temporary fulltime vacancies for allied health professionals (physiotherapy and occupational therapy ), 23 permanent fulltime unfilled positions in management administration, and almost 17 vacancies in support services.