Attn: All INMO Members
The Department of Health/HSE have now published their Health Service Action Plan, for 2012, as required under the current public service agreement (Croke Park). Please note that this action plan was finalised and published without consultation or the involvement, of the INMO or any Health Service Union. As you can see there are specific issues itemised, for nursing/midwifery grades, and the INMO has sought discussions with the management side on these.
In addition a more detailed review of the action plan will appear in the April edition of the World of Irish Nursing & Midwifery. Finally members are reminded that if your local management approach you, with a view to implementing any of these actions, you should immediately contact the organisation and we will commence discussions with your local management.
Below is a link to the revised Action Plan:
Attn: All INMO Members
In the view of the INMO the HSE National Service Plan for 2012, which was signed off by the Minister on Monday, 16th January 2012, will, inevitably result in a further severe contraction of frontline services.
At a briefing immediately following the publication of the plan, between the INMO and senior management in the HSE, a number of points emerged including:
- there has been a €1.75 billion reduction, in health expenditure, in 2010 and 2011;
- the health service has increased its activity, in the face of growing demand, throughout this period;
- in 2012 the allocation has been reduced by a further €750 million;
- 8,700 staff have left the service (3,500 of which have been nursing/midwifery), and have not been replaced, since 2007;
- there is to be a further reduction of 3,000 staff in 2012;
- the HSE must reduce its pay bill, by €183 million, in 2012;
- the HSE plans to close 555 public nursing home beds and reduce home help hours by 4.5%;
- there will be an increase, to 23,611, in the number of persons supported by the Fair Deal;
- reduced acute bed capacity arising from a 7.8% cost reduction requirement for all acute hospitals;
- the allocation of €35 million, from the overall budget, to support/restore mental health services;
- the allocation, from within the budget, of €38 million for the development of primary care services including the replacement of priority posts and the allocation of GP only visit cards to all persons with a long term illness.
In responding to the Service Plan the INMO has publicly stated the following:
- this plan will inevitably result in the further closure of acute beds in many hospitals across the country;
- this, in turn, will lead to increased levels of overcrowding, in emergency departments;
- the development of the clinical care programmes, which have been so successful, will be negatively affected by the curtailment of services throughout the acute hospital system;
- care of the elderly services will be severely affected via a combination of the proposed bed closures and the loss of staff through retirement;
- the proposed transfer of services, from the acute sector to the primary care sector, will be severely hampered by the very significant loss of frontline posts in community nursing/midwifery services; and
- regardless of what configuration, or efficiencies, are brought forward, the health service cannot lose, in an uncontrolled and unmanaged way, over 3,200 staff, in the month of February, over 1,600 of which will be nursing/midwifery.
The INMO, at this briefing, sought further discussions, with senior management in the HSE, with a view to agreeing new initiatives and work practices, which would include the protection of nursing/midwifery posts. Such initiatives could save money in such areas as converting NCHD non-training posts to nursing posts, expansion of nurse led services in acute/non-acute hospitals and the expansion of the role of the nurse in all community nursing homes. The HSE agreed to respond, at an early date, to this request.
It should be noted this is the fourth consecutive year that the Irish public health system has suffered a significant reduction in health spend and uncontrolled down sizing of its workforce. This is unprecedented and is, undoubtedly, causing severe hardship to patients/clients and excessive workloads on frontline staff.
It is for the community at large to respond to this dismantling, of our public health service. The INMO looks forward to participating in a community wide campaign aimed at forcing the political system, and the government in particular, to review its current policies of contraction and cut backs.
In the interim the INMO will focus on ensuring that every INMO member has the knowledge and information necessary, to allow them practice safely through our Safe Practice campaign. The INMNO will support every member who highlights clinical risk and we will be their constant partner in protecting their practice.
Thank you for your attention to this note.