Identify barriers to recruitment

Identify barriers to recruitment

There are a large number of podiatrists reaching retirement age while hard to fill vacancies already exist in many of the rural and island health boards. The barriers to recruiting to these posts need to be urgently identified and solutions found. Barriers could include transport links - island flights are expensive and lack frequency, ferries are not reliable; accommodation - can be limited for incomers; access to schools and increased cost of living.


The solutions are also well researched and documented. The earlier a trainee health care professional is exposed to rural health care in their training/career, the more likely they are to choose it as a permanent career choice. Rural student placements should be mandatory and schemes to provide extra training or taster placements in rural areas are very cost effective (eg the GP rural fellowship) and should be expanded in numbers and to other specialities. This all costs money but is far more cost effective than paying for locums.

Recruitment and retention issues are the same across the board for healthcare professionals and are very longstanding and well recognised. The committee doesn't need to identify barriers to recruitment as they are already well identified from many years of research and experience. The proposal lists some of these - others include professional isolation, difficulty in getting holiday cover, difficulty accessing professional development, problems for spouses/partners finding employment, child care etc. The attractions are many - quality of life, being a generalist and scope of work, being part of a small community, close multidisciplinary working etc.

Managerial decisions on recruitment are appalling and useless. It is almost as if there is a deliberate attempt to block both recruitment and retention. This needs to change drastically.

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