National Taskforce on the NCHD Workforce Launched


The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced that he is establishing a National Taskforce to focus on the Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor (NCHD) workforce.

The purpose of the Taskforce is to put in place sustainable workforce planning strategies and policies to improve the NCHD experience and to support present and future retention of NCHDs in Ireland.

The Taskforce will seek to improve the NCHD experience/work-life balance through the development and implementation of improved NCHD structures and supports in hospital sites. It will aim to further develop and foster a culture of education and training at clinical site level and plan for future configuration of the medical workforce to support delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

Professor Anthony O’Regan, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Director of Postgraduate Clinical Education, Saolta University Healthcare Group, Dean of the Institute of Medicine, Royal College of Physicians will Chair the group which will include representation from key stakeholders across our health services.

Membership of the Taskforce will include, among others, HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr Colm Henry, NCHDs, Hospital Consultants, Forum of Postgraduate Training Bodies, the Medical Council, HSE National Doctors Training and Planning, Acute Operations, National HR and the Department of Health.

In recognition of the imperative to address priority areas, and to ensure quick progress, the Minister has directed that the Taskforce be set up for 1 year. The inaugural meeting of the Taskforce is planned for mid-September 2022. The Minister is currently finalising the membership of the National Taskforce, which will be announced following the inaugural meeting in mid-September.

Minister Donnelly said, \”recruitment and retention of healthcare workers, including NCHDs, is a top priority for me and the government. The intention is that the Taskforce will develop a range of policy initiatives to result in improved training, structures and supports for all NCHDs. I have met and spoken to many NCHDs on my visits to hospitals around the country. I have heard first-hand their issues. I am fully committed to addressing these issues and to implementing sustainable workforce planning strategies and policies which promote a culture of education and training at clinical site level.\”

\”As part of Sláintecare delivery, we need to support and grow a sustainable NCHD workforce. I am keen to ensure that workforce planning benefits from a range of expertise and perspectives. My department will collaborate and work closely and constructively with key stakeholders to successfully support the NCHD workforce and to inform medical workforce planning into the future. Patients are at the centre of our health service and workforce planning improvements will have positive impacts on patient care. I would like to thank the Chair and members of the taskforce for accepting the invitation to participate on the National Taskforce. The extensive knowledge and expertise of the group will provide the leadership and expertise required to deliver sustainable long-term solutions to address the significant challenges that need to be addressed. I look forward to constructive engagement with the National Taskforce as we progress this important and significant programme of work.\”

On the announcement, Professor Anthony O’Regan, Chair of the National Taskforce on NCHD Workforce said, \”I have been deeply committed to training and education throughout my career. I welcome the opportunity to review and improve NCHD working and training resources across our clinical sites in Ireland. It is imperative that we develop a supportive environment commensurate to the talent of our trainee NCHD colleagues and future healthcare leaders.\”

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said, \”I welcome the taskforce which will be specifically focused on improving the experience of NCHDs in our health service. Our NCHDs are a critical part of the health service, and the establishment of this taskforce recognises the commitment to supporting and retaining high quality doctors in Ireland.\”


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