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HSE To Sack 21 Nurses In Midland Hospitals. 21/07/09
The Irish Nurses Organisation condemned as draconian an announcement by the HSE to immediately dispense with the services of 21 nurses’ without consulting or considering the impact on patient care in the three Midland hospitals. 
 
The HSE directive calls for the cessation of 11 nursing contracts in Mullingar, 5 in Tullamore and 5 in Portlaoise. INO claim that in issuing notice to these nurses, HSE have failed in their legal obligation to consult in advance of issuing a weeks’ notice to the staff and have also breached a national agreement in which they had undertaken to consider representations regarding the detrimental impact of any such sackings on direct patient care prior to a final decision.
 
According to the INO over the past number of months all three hospitals in the Midlands have been under extreme pressure because the government moratorium on recruitment had made it extremely difficult to ensure that sufficient staff were available to deal with the number of patients in all of the hospitals. The 21 nurses targeted by the HSE are, according to the INO, filling critical vacancies in direct frontline care and their removal will have a detrimental effect on patient care as other staff are unable to take up the slack due to the already critical understaffing which exists.
 
INO Industrial Relations Officer, Ms. Lorraine Monaghan, said that the axing of 21 critical nursing posts in the three acute Midland hospitals is a step too far which will undoubtedly interfere with the ability of hard pressed nursing staff to continue to provide safe patient care. It was, she said, a step too far applied in an arrogant fashion without regard to either patients or staff.
 
The INO is currently meeting its members in the three hospitals to consider the most appropriate course of action to take in order to deal with this latest development.
 
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie