Claim that Cork hospital is ‘hemorrhaging’ staff over working hours

Claim that Cork hospital is ‘hemorrhaging’ staff over working hours

"I can’t even count how many goodbye parties we’ve had in recent weeks." 

A CORK hospital is “hemorrhaging” experienced and valuable staff because of a reluctance from hospital management to allow reduced working hours, sources have claimed.

A source within Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) told The Echo that the hospital has lost 11 or more experienced staff members in recent weeks.

The source claimed that many of these departures are down to HSE mismanagement.

“We’re hemorrhaging senior staff and midwives and that’s a huge loss to us and our patients,” the source said.

“I can’t even count how many goodbye parties we’ve had in recent weeks.

“We don’t begrudge anyone leaving for better hours and conditions but this is down to mismanagement,” the source added.

“People are looking for slightly reduced hours in the hospital but they’re being refused and they’re leaving.

“So instead of reducing a person’s hours slightly by six or three hours, the hospital refuse and they lose a valuable member of staff and 36 hours of work. We’re losing staff for the sake of a few hours here and there and this is happening wholesale.”

The source said that seeking slightly reduced hours would have a minimal impact on the service compared to wholesale departures and that the request can often make sense from the worker’s perspective.

“Many of these people asking for reduced hours have children and their partners might be working shift hours as well so a few reduced hours a week would make all the difference.

“But they’re being refused and find it’s not worth their while staying so they leave. People are on waiting lists to go down to reduced hours and some have been on it for 18 months or so.”

The source revealed that, instead of heading abroad or into the private sector, many of the people departing CUMH are actually entering community healthcare services.

“They’re going to work in the community setting because they can get a contract for 24 hours a week in community.

“They can go to work at 9.30am after they drop their kids to school and then be there to collect them and go home once school finishes.

“It’s much more attractive and it’s not in the acute setting while it’s essentially the same pay,” the source added.

“A doctor in the hospital said recently that surely giving staff members three or four hours back is better than losing 32 hours from a management perspective.

“When people don’t have work-life balance, you can’t blame them for moving on.

“It doesn’t make sense and it’s really foolish management within the hospital and HSE.”

The hospital group was contacted for comment.

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