Community Nursing Issues


Dear colleagues

As you are aware, a number of meetings have been held in respect of matters pertaining to community nursing issues.  

1.    Community Healthcare Structures

The matter of Nurse Management Structures resulting from reconfiguration was again raised at a meeting with Mr John Hennessy Director PCCC and his team by the INMO on 07 October 2015.  The HSE were not, at this meeting, in a position to put a formal proposal in respect of this issue to the INMO. We repeated our position that we expected the current numbers of posts to remain in place and that no change to reporting relationship or structure can occur prior to formal engagement with the INMO. It was agreed that the HSE would engage with the INMO to discuss nurse management structures in the community in early November.  

Workforce Planning

The INMO raised matters relating to the lack of workforce planning from year to year regarding Public Health Nurse and Community General Nurse numbers, particularly in light of the added roles and responsibilities that are being assigned to community nursing.

The HSE agreed to convene a meeting which would involve the Social Care division, Primary Care division and Health and Wellbeing division of the HSE in order to establish what percentage of working hours of the current nursing group are being allocated to each of these divisions (likewise the creation of Meitheal project with Tusla).  

It is the INMO’s position that Public Health Nurses and Community General Nurses work to Primary Care.  They cannot take instruction in respect of their workload from the Social Care division or Health and Wellbeing division without an agreement being put in place in respect of allocated working time for same.  

This issue will require representatives from all of the grades within community nursing to attend with the INMO officials, and we will notify you of the meetings when they are scheduled.

2.    Governance of Home Help Services

As previously notified the HSE Social Care division have agreed to meet with the INMO with a view to engaging an independent party to look at the role and function of nursing in the Clinical Governance of Home Helps.  This has been welcomed by the INMO and we have agreed to participate.

With a view to same, the INMO Sub Group met on  Saturday 10th October  and considered how best to approach this issue.
It was agreed that: -

i.    A invitation would issue to the Directors of Public Health Nursing and the Assistant Directors of Public Health Nursing to nominate two Directors and two Assistant Directors to be part of the INMO Sub Group dealing with this particular issue.  
ii.    Terms of Reference were discussed and same will be considered by the full group, prior to meeting with the HSE.

I want to thank the sub group for attending on Saturday 10th October and we will keep you updated in respect of progress in relation to this matter.  
In the meantime the INMO instruction continues to be that; Home Help governance should continue as it did prior to the memo of 27 August 2014, issued without agreement by Pat Healy, National Director of Social Care and John Hennessy, National Director of Primary Care.  Please find letter from Mr Michael Fitzgerald, Head of Operations and Service Improvement, services for Older people, here.

3.    PHN Metrics

As you are aware, the INMO raised objections to the manner in which the PHN Metrics were being measured.  A meeting has been held and the HSE have acknowledged that the current suite of Metrics do not adequately reflect the level of activity undertaken in community nursing services.  The INMO have welcomed this and the HSE have now agreed that a Director of Public Health Nursing will join the National Primary Care Metrics Steering Group and that a Director of Public Health Nursing will join the National Metrics Technical Group.  This will assist with drawing up the actual measurement Metrics to be used in the future. Please find letter from Síle McManus, Director of HR for primary care here.

It is further agreed that a sub group of the National Metrics Groups will be established to examine the design of Metrics appropriate to community nursing activity.  This group will include representatives from both urban and rural settings.  The HSE have now asked that community nurses consider lifting the ban on filling Metrics and this is a matter that will be considered at the next Section Meeting of PHNs which is due to take place on 15 November 2015.  In the meantime the instruction to continue with recording activity in the normal manner, prior to Metrics being introduced, continues.

4.    Transfer Panel Matters – delays in release

As members are aware the PHN Transfer Panel is now operational and further meetings, assisted by the Labour Relations Commission have taken place to clarify certain aspects of the transfer panel.

 It is now agreed that staff who accept transfer offers should be released in accordance with Circular 001/15 .Currently there are 26 PHNs in this category and Directors of Public Health Nursing have been notified to offer release dates of 15 November 2015 to this group.

5.    Transfer Panel Matters and Placement of remaining  2014 Graduates

Implementation of the agreement in relation to last year’s graduates continues and it is now agreed that the 2014 graduates who were not placed on the Transfer Panel on 01 April 2015 should be offered the right to access the Transfer Panel, if they so wish, in accordance with the original rules.  What this means is they do not have to wait the full eighteen months, they can access the Transfer Panel, if they so wish, from a current date.

6.    Placement of the 2015 Graduates

The placement of the 2015 graduates is as per the proposal from the Labour Relations Commission.  A separate circular has issued to this group in respect of this. The HSE advise that that the assignment of 2015 graduates will commence during week beginning Monday, 19 October 2015.  

The INMO and its Officials will be able to advise in respect of any of these issues.

Thanking you for your attention to this note.

Is mise

Director of Industrial Relations





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