Oireachtas Mental Health Committee hears that 34% of mental health nurses eligible for retirement in the next 5 years
The Green Party today warned of a ‘mental health timebomb’, after it was revealed to the Oireachtas Mental Health Committee that 34% of psychiatric and mental health nurses are eligible for retirement within 5 years. The stark figures come amid continued difficulty in attracting healthcare professionals.
Other figures outlined in the Committee show:
Reacting to the figures, Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin TD said: “We’re all aware of the difficulties the Government is experiencing recruiting young entrants to vital public services, such as teachers, nurses, and doctors, but the figures coming out of the Mental Health Committee are extremely concerning.
“With 34% of the mental health workforce eligible for retirement within 5 years, the Government are facing a mental health timebomb if efforts to recruit new entrants continue to fail. The fact that, with almost 500 vacancies in psychiatric nursing in Ireland, 1,343 trained nurses and midwives sought “certificates of current professional status” to verify their qualifications for working overseas, is extremely concerning, and needs to be seriously looked at.
“The challenges in recruitment are not all pay-related, but it is clear that there is a significant issue there. Nurses relocating to the UK receive an €8,000 relocating fee, while nurses relocating to Ireland receive just €1,500. In addition, new entrants to nursing in Ireland have lower starting salaries than most comparable English-speaking countries. The Government must make Ireland an attractive place to live and work for healthcare workers, or the general public will suffer significant deterioration of vital services.”
The submission from Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association, can be found here.