Northwest health board defers 44 appointments


Forty-four appointments in the North Western Health Board have been deferred as part of measures brought into to meet a saving of €950,000 demanded by the Department of Health.

At a board meeting yesterday, Mr Pat Harvey, the board's chief executive, said there would be no direct impact on patient services.

He said as none of the posts had been filled yet, no existing staff contacts would be affected. Most of the deferred posts were in the areas of research, training and support services.

The board had initially been told by the Department of Health to cut 70 positions to achieve the savings requested. A subsequent letter gave Mr Harvey and the board more leeway to achieve the savings, and some €200,000 in non-payroll savings were achieved.

However, Mr Harvey said deferring the appointments was strictly a short-term measure and that filling the deferred posts was a priority.

"This action plan is the result of considerable analysis and is one we believe represents the best option in reconciling all interests — in particular for patients and staff," he said.