Mark Ward TD has called for a full review into the recruitment process for newly qualified clinical psychologists. This is after Teachta Ward received information from the HSE that over the last five or more years due to difficulties with the process of getting approvals, the HSE have not been in a position to offer employment to newly qualified clinical psychologists.
Teachta Ward said “Based on the HSE salary scales, a trainee clinical psychologist is currently supported by the HSE to the tune of almost €150,000 over 3 years through salary and contributions towards fees. “The HSE recruit approximately 60 trainee clinical psychologists annually. “The HSE insert a payback clause in their contracts that insist that the psychologists must work for the HSE when they finish their training.
“Despite this the HSE have informed me that over the last five or more years due to difficulties with the process of getting approvals, the HSE have not been in a position to offer employment to newly qualified clinical psychologists. “This situation is unacceptable. We currently have almost 13,000 people waiting on primary care psychology. The vast majority of which are children.
“Not one of the ninety-one Community Disability Network Teams are fully staffed with a national average staff vacancy rate of 28%. “There is obviously a problem in the recruitment panel system that the HSE use. A graduate Doctor of Clinical Psychology, having worked 3 years with the HSE must join this panel system to be employed in the HSE. The panel system does not allow direct entry into the HSE and does not take into consideration of geographical preferences. “The HSE must review their recruitment system and to make sure its fit for purpose. “There is a crisis in recruitment and retention of staff within the HSE and it seems that HSE’s own recruitment process is working against them tackling this crisis.