Concerns Raised About Staff Shortage In Child Disability Network Teams

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill. Pic: Jackie Cahill/Facebook.

Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill has raised concerns about staff shortages in the Children’s Disability Network Teams that serve county Tipperary. The Disability Minister Anne Rabbitte told the Dáil she has concerns for the provision of services in the county. The team based in Cashel has 20% of its posts vacant, the team in Clonmel 37% – in both cases the HSE is the lead agency. For north Tipperary the lead agency is Enable Ireland and the vacancy rate is 38%. In general, CDNTs are short-staffed to the extent of 50% on average according to Professor Malcolm MacLachlan, the Clinical Lead for people with Disabilities in the HSE. Deputy Cahill sought details of efforts to fill positions in what he called “vital teams”. The Minister responded that the HSE will deliver a progressive recruitment plan and will advertise abroad if necessary. The Minister stated that other agencies seem to have a faster recruitment process than the HSE and said the panels are being “flushed through” to recruit personnel in as timely a process as possible. However the Minister was concerned about South Tipperary which is in Community Health Organisation 5(CHO5) where 10 of the 12 teams are HSE led and said the delays in recruiting for the disability service was not acceptable.