Over 600 recruits ‘job ready’ for Be on Call for Ireland

Further 1,000 clear interview hurdle and are going through final stages of hiring process

There are 14,000 people who have self-identified as nurses, doctors, support staff, ambulance and social-care professionals. File photograph: The Irish Times

There are 14,000 people who have self-identified as nurses, doctors, support staff, ambulance and social-care professionals. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

A total of 603 people of the 73,000 who responded to the Be on Call for Ireland campaign have started working within the health services, or are now approved to start immediately when required.

A further 1,000 have passed interview and are going through the final stages of the recruitment process.

The nationwide campaign, which was launched by the Health Service Executive when the Covid-19 crisis escalated in early March, attracted responses from more than 73,000 applicants to support the health services. But only 14,000 have been identified as suitable for this initiative.

The rationale behind the initiative was to create pools of available “job-ready” healthcare workers available for deployment by the HSE during the crisis.

When the HSE examined the applications 31,000 did not have relevant healthcare skills and were redirected to other State bodies and agencies.

A further 13,000 were people who worked in health management and administration. Any roles using those skills are being filled by public servants redeployed from other departments and agencies.

In a response to a query from The Irish Times, the HSE has said many of the remaining 29,000 applicants, all registered as healthcare workers, could be deployed.

It emerged that 10,000 of them were already working in healthcare. A further 1,000 were not licensed to practise and so could not be used. Some 1,000 unsubscribed for personal reasons.

Separately, the HSE has recruited 3,000 of the applicants through other routes. It left 14,000 people who self-identified as nurses, doctors, support staff, ambulance and social-care professionals, and who had a “job-ready” status. In other words, they would be available to replace any HSE staff on a temporary basis, or provide additional resources to services.

The first tranche of those interviewed were priority applicants who had recently been working in the health sector. All had to go through a series of checks including registration confirmation, Garda vetting, assessment of references and work experience.

What roles have been selected?

The HSE said it is focusing in particular on doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, domestic cleaners, porters, dentists, dieticians, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, pharmaceutical technicians, mortuary attendants, medical scientists and laboratory aides.

In a statement, the HSE said: “To date approximately 7,100 have been contacted to ascertain their ability to work during this crisis.”

It added that to date 1,630 candidates have been successful at interview.  

“There are 603 candidates who are job ready. [Of those] 63 have started and the remaining 540 are available to the services as and when they need them.  

“The Be on Call for Ireland initiative also received applications from student nurses. These were progressed in a separate stream and 880 have been appointed as Health Care Assistants in the community and acute settings.”

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