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HSE Defers Sacking 21 Nurses In The Midlands Region After Meeting With The Irish Nurses Organisation. 07/08/09

PRESS RELEASE,   Friday, 7th August, 2009

Following a meeting with the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO), HSE management have agreed to defer the cessation of 21 fixed term and temporary nursing contracts in the Midland Regional Hospitals – Portlaoise, Tullamore and Mullingar - to allow for detailed discussions and risk assessments, in each of the three Hospitals. 

Speaking after the meeting, INO Industrial Relations Officer, Lorraine Monaghan said:

‘We welcome the HSE’s commitment not to proceed with the cessation of temporary contracts until risk assessments have been carried out at local level.  This process will focus on safe staffing levels, clinical risk and the impact of staffing reductions on patient care.  The INO have no doubt, that such risk assessments, when carried out in an open and transparent manner, will uncover dangerously low staffing levels in all three hospitals’.

Ms. Monaghan added that there has been ‘a considerable reduction of nursing and midwifery staff in recent months, who have retired or resigned and have not been replaced because of the HSE ban on recruitment’. 

‘At today’s meeting, local INO Reps provided management with very real and graphic examples of how patient care has suffered at the hands of the HSE’s harsh recruitment control policies. The effect of taking a further 21 nursing staff out of the three Midland Regional Hospitals, would most certainly have a detrimental effect on patient care and ultimately lead to fatalities’. 

She continued ‘this is about safe practice and our members cannot accept and work in conditions which they consider pose high risk to the safety and welfare of patients in their care’.

The INO has decided to postpone a ballot for industrial action, pending the outcome of these local level discussions and risk assessments.

The INO concluded, ‘if this threat on the cessation of temporary posts is reactivated, without agreement on safe staffing levels, the INO will immediately move to ballot members for industrial action’.

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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