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Current Issues - News Update No 8. 04.03.16

Thursday, 3rd March 2016


Dear Member

In light of recent important developments, on matters of concern to all members, I wish to advise you of the following:

1.    Taskforce on Nurse Staffing - Medical/Surgical Wards

As you may have seen the Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, recently announced his agreement to provide €2 million to allow for the piloting of the interim report on Nurse Staffing in Medical and Surgical Wards.

The Implementation Group, established to oversee these pilots, has now decided that the three hospitals, within which the pilots will take place, will be as follows:

  • Beaumont Hospital, Dublin;
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; and
  • St. Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown.


The Implementation Group, upon which the Organisation is represented by our President, Claire Mahon, will now engage with the staff, in these three hospitals, to finalise the following:

  • the wards, in each hospital, within which the pilots will take place;
  • the necessary orientation/training for the nursing staff, particularly the Clinical Nurse Manager 2, on each of the wards and senior nurse management; and
  • orientation programmes for all the nursing staff, involved, so that everyone can be fully informed of the pilots and the objectives of same.


Members are reminded that the interim report, of the National Taskforce, has made a number of recommendations, now to be applied in each of the pilots, including:

  • application of the framework, to determine staffing levels, with the use of the “nursing hours per patient day” criteria;
  • the CNM2 to be 100% supervisory in each of the wards;
  • permanent staff on each of the wards to maximise continuity of care and reduced reliance upon agency staff; and
  • the inclusion of 20%, in the ward complement, to provide for normal annual leave/study leave requirements for staff.


The INMO will shortly engage with members, in these hospitals, to also fully inform them of the pilot studies, what is involved and the goals and objectives behind same.  

It is hoped that, upon completion of the pilots full feedback will be given, to the National Taskforce, who will then move to issue its final report, and set of recommendations, to the Minister in around October/November this year.

The Taskforce on Nurse Staffing was established, by the Minister, AS A DIRECT RESPONSE to the INMO’s Safe Staffing Campaign.  This pilot stage is the next, critical step in our campaign of securing consistent, appropriate, safe and maintained staffing levels, in all medical/surgical wards, (there are a total of 225 such wards across the country), in the shortest possible timeframe.

2.    Transfer of Tasks

In recent days members will have been made aware of agreement, involving the INMO/IMO/SIPTU and the HSE, with regard to the transfer of four tasks:

(i)    intravenous cannulation;
(ii)    emergency phlebotomy that is currently carried out by Non Consultant     Hospital Doctors;
(iii)    intravenous drug administration - first dose; and,
(iv)    nurse/midwife led delegated discharge of patients;

from medical to nursing staff subject to additional staffing and training being provided.  

A commitment to undertake these tasks, subject to the staffing and training, will trigger the restoration of the unsocial hours payment, of time plus one sixth between 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m., to all nursing/midwifery staff, from 1st January of this year.  This equates to a 2% (approx.) salary increase to a member working a standard roster covering this period.

The INMO, together with the other parties involved in this process, are currently engaging with senior nurse managers, across the country, to ensure all of the criteria, under the agreement, is fully complied with at individual hospital level.

All members are advised to watch closely, in the coming days and weeks, for further updates, and advice, on this matter.  For further details please see earlier circular from my colleague Ms. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, Director of IR, on our website (www.inmo.ie).

3.    Undergraduate Student/New Graduate Issues

In recent days the INMO has secured agreement, with the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, for the restoration of a number of cuts, imposed upon undergraduates and new graduates, in 2011.
In particular, with effect from 1st March 2016, the following will now apply:

  • undergraduate students will receive 70%, of the minimum of the staff nurse scale, for the rostered placement which takes place in the fourth year of training; and
  • upon graduation, and after a further initial 16 weeks, the new graduate will then move to the second point of the scale which is worth just over €2,000.


The impact of the increase, during the rostered placement, will be approximately €100 per week, to each of the undergraduates who have previously received the minimum wage.  It is hoped that these measures will increase the retention of our new graduates, within the Irish public health service, following their graduation later this year and in all future years.

The INMO will continue to pursue the outstanding issue of securing incremental credit for all classes that graduated, in the 2011/2015 period, as they are now, undoubtedly, entitled to this incremental credit concession.

4.    Emergency Department Overcrowding

Following the acceptance, by INMO members, of the proposals, brokered by the WRC, we are currently engaged in implementing all aspects of the agreement, at both local and national level.  

This is taking place against a backdrop of continued severe pressure, upon Emergency Departments, although the number of patients on trolleys did drop, by 8%, in February.

In line with the agreement the next critical steps, apart from ongoing meetings at hospital/group level and implementation of all issues, are the following:

  • secure the filling of all posts arising from the agreement;
  • further national meeting, of INMO representatives from all Emergency Departments, will take place on Wednesday, 9th March 2016, in INMO Head Office, to receive, first-hand, feedback on the ongoing implementation of the agreement; and
  • the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will commence its first review, of the implementation of the agreement, when it meets all parties (INMO/ HSE/Department of Health) on Monday, 14th March 2016.


Members will be advised, on an ongoing basis, of all developments on this     critical issue.

5.    General Election 2016

As we all know the outcome of the recent General Election is far from clear at this time.  All of the various parties/entities elected, are now engaged in ongoing consultation to see if a government can be established.
In the interim Mr. Leo Varadkar TD, remains Minister for Health. The INMO will continue to engage with him to ensure that all ongoing issues are progressed in the interests of members and patient care.

In addition the Organisation is currently finalising its nominee, for the Seanad, which we will forward, to the ICTU, who will finally determine the panel of union supported members put forward for election.  This is in keeping with the motion adopted, at last years annual conference, that the Organisation should move, in every way possible, to secure the election of a nurse to Seanad Eireann at the earliest opportunity.

We will advise all members of the outcome, of the internal selection process, and subsequent decisions of ICTU, in the coming days.

6.    Richmond Education and Event Centre

The Organisation hopes to be in a position to finalise all outstanding matters, in relation to contracts, which will allow the commencement of the refurbishment works on the Richmond Education and Event Centre, in the next two weeks.

It is still hoped that these works, which are expected to take a little over five months, will be completed in time for the Organisation to open our new Education and Event Centre in, or around, September of this year.

This, in turn, will allow us, due to increased capacity, to continue to further develop all of the professional development, and other educational support, services we offer to members, on an ongoing basis.  This new facility, for members, will allow us to greatly expand our work, in this area, which is so important to members and their ongoing registration.

7.    Election to Executive Council - Undergraduate Seat

In the next few days members, either through the journal (World of Ireland Nursing and Midwifery), or, if an undergraduate student directly in the post, will receive their voting papers to elect a student to the undergraduate seat in the incoming Executive Council (term of office May 2016 - 2018).

All member are asked to complete and return the ballot paper by Wednesday, 30th March 2016.  

Please note that as the number of candidates, for all other seats, equalled the number of seats available, there is no need for any other election.

Full details of the membership of the incoming Executive Council will be made known in the first week of April.

SUMMARY

As you can see a number of very important issues/developments are taking place, at this time, which will be of critical importance to members.
In the context of these issues we are acutely aware that, in every area of the service, members continue to be under severe pressure due to staff shortages and ever increasing demands for services.

In response to this the Organisation continues to engage, in every workplace, on an ongoing basis, to address members’ concerns and, in particular, secure additional staffing resources at this time.

Thank you for your attention to this note and please watch out for further updates in the coming days and weeks.

Yours sincerely


LIAM DORAN
General Secretary
 

 
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:0016640600 E:inmo@inmo.ie