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The Impact of the HSE Recruitment Freeze on Agency Nurses

The Health Service Executive (HSE) dropped a bombshell last Friday by extending the existing recruitment freeze to encompass all categories of staff. Rest assured, we are business as usual! With over 200 shifts being listed for agency nurses throughout Ireland this morning alone.

What is the Reason for the Recruitment Freeze?

Originally implemented for managerial and administrative roles, the recruitment freeze has now been broadened to cover all areas, with a few exceptions. The HSE is set to surpass its funded workforce target, prompting the freeze extension. Notable exceptions include consultant doctors in training, graduate nurses, and midwives.

The decision to impose a recruitment freeze stems from the Department of Health's unexpected hiring spree, surpassing the planned budget for this year by employing over 200 additional staff members.

“We have arrived at the point where we need to address the fact that we are on course to exceed our 2023 funded workforce target, and this is neither affordable or sustainable,” the memo said.

The freeze means no new offers or obligations will be entered into, except for consultant appointments, and graduate nurses and midwives in approved training programs. This move is seen as necessary to align with the realisation that the 2023 recruitment ambitions will be met by year-end.

Nurses and doctor looking at iPad

Nurses can still find a huge number of roles with Clarity Locums

INMO's Response

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO) is considering industrial action in response to the extended freeze. INMO executives express concern over the lack of documentation and consultation with the union, with the general secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, deeming it a "serious error" that will have disastrous impacts on patient care.

The Impact on Nurses Working in Ireland

Permanent recruitment for the HSE has been paused at the moment, however there are many other companies and facilities still recruiting! For more information on permanent vacancies you can visit our sister company Clarity Recruitment.

Agency Nursing

We are very aware that there are still huge gaps in the HSE for nursing staff and we can see this on a daily basis within Clarity Locums. We want to ensure our agency nurses that there is no slow down in the amount of shifts that are available. Currently we have 760 open agency shifts available for booking with the HSE and other private clients all over Ireland!

While Clarity is a HSE approved provider, we also have hundreds of private clients outside of the HSE requesting nursing staff on an ongoing basis.

For more information on how to get ready to work with Clarity you can read some of blogs below:

Ultimate Guide to Garda Vetting Guide to Agency Nursing Compliance Support

Get in Touch

If you are worried or concerned about these freezes, please feel free to contact us today to discuss your options for the rest of 2023, and for 2024.

Contact Us

Posted on 14 November 2023 by Laura Mulchrone
Author Info

Laura Mulchrone

01 567 3123
[email protected]

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