A total of 18 agency staff have been let go from University Hospital Galway following a diktat to implement a ‘recruitment pause’ for three months due to a budget overrun.
But the national moratorium has also caused a delay in finalising appointments for vacancies – three physiotherapy posts are still vacant while other jobs where interviews were held and offers of employment made are also on hold until after it is lifted.
The agency workers whose contracts were terminated at the beginning of this month included two occupational therapists, one physiotherapist, two psychologist and three clerical or administrators.
Maternity and sick leave posts would also remain unfilled.
Tony Canavan, Chief Officer for Community Healthcare West in the Saolta hospital group, admitted the recruitment ban would mean appointments will be delayed.
“We employed maybe more staff than we could afford so in assessing the current budget we’ve had to pull back. We’re six weeks into the 12-week recruitment pause and we decided to release agency staff. We have to reassess what to do after that.”
Since the start of this year there had been 1,646 cancellations – 769 of them initiated by the hospital.