IASLT is disappointed by the HSE plans to extend the recruitment freeze and to include Health and Social Care professionals. During a particularly challenging recruitment period for the HSE, this decision will impact negatively on patient care.

The blunt application of this freeze is incongruous given the current HSE strategy to deliver patient care closer to home, continued legacy waiting lists from previous recruitment moratoriums, lack of appropriate workforce planning and covid redeployments. 

Prior to this recruitment freeze our members across the country were reporting concerns in relation to recruitment, safe staffing and the challenges providing safe and quality care that their patients require.This extended recruitment freeze means Speech and Language Therapy positions that have become vacant can no longer be replaced. Clinicians who were offered positions or who are moving back to Ireland following a job offer will now have these offers revoked. In an Organisation with extended recruitment timelines this will create unsafe staffing levels and ultimately barriers to the delivery of quality care. 

At a time when we are facing a high level of emigration of qualified Health and Social Care professionals and significant work with the HSE, higher education and the professional bodies to increase training places and support recruitment and retention this decision is disconcerting. 

The IASLT is seeking engagement with the HSE In relation to this decision and urgent reconsideration of a blanket recruitment freeze.