The Saolta Hospital Group is in the process of holding interviews for additional consultants at Roscommon Hospital.
Deputy Denis Naughten has claimed that the planned investment in consultant staff at the hospital is a direct result of his input into Government formation talks and Budget 2018.
One of the positions in question is a new full-time permanent Consultant Physician post with 32 hours per week based at Roscommon County Hospital and a further seven hours per week based at Galway University Hospital, which allows the consultant to access treatment services at all local hospitals.
Deputy Naughten said that the important issue now is to secure suitably qualified candidates for the positions.
“This has been a challenge across the HSE in recent years, with up to one-third of consultant posts not being filled”.
Deputy Naughten said that €750,000 a year will be invested in Roscommon Hospital for the development of services for older people – to stop them being admitted to hospital and allow them to return home quicker – and that this reality should make the Roscommon position more attractive.
Deputy Naughten said that the focus of the new work of the expanded medical team at Roscommon’s Medical Assessment Unit will be on preventing people, particularly older people, from having to be admitted to hospital in the first place and also minimising the length of time people need to spend in hospital. This has already led to the training of 13 doctors in Roscommon Hospital.
The Independent TD added: “This is the first significant investment at the Urgent Care Centre in Roscommon Hospital since the A&E closed in 2011 and forms part of a commitment which I secured in the Programme for Government”.
Along with the new consultants, local management at Roscommon Hospital are recruiting 15 additional staff including a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech & language therapist, dietician, pharmacist, social worker and specialist nurses who will form a multidisciplinary ‘Frailty Team’ focused on keeping older people out of hospital and out of nursing homes.