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INMO Calls on the HSE to Reverse their Decision to Cut Agency Nurses, Midwives and Other Staff in Major Cork City Hospitals 28.05.11

PRESS RELEASE  Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Intended cuts will severely compromise patient care

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has learned that the HSE South plans to cut 52 agency nurses and midwives, and, other agency staff, filling essential frontline vacancies from next Wednesday, June 1st in Cork University Hospital and Cork University Maternity Hospital.

This decision has not been the subject of any discussion with the staff, or their representative organisations, and has, apparently, been made behind closed doors.

CUH and CUMH currently rely on agency staff to care for:

• 9000 deliveries per annum
• Neonatal Care
• Maternal support, antenatal and postnatal
• Accident / Emergency patients
• Intensive Care
• Cancer patients
• Cardiac Patients
• All complex surgery in Cork Area.

Last Monday, May 23rd, management met with staff to ascertain how additional cost savings could be generated at the hospitals.  Members of the INMO suggested that significant savings could be generated in the organisation of private work at the hospitals. Management seem to have ignored this staff led initiative and are now seeking to unilaterally remove agency staff from both hospitals. The effect of this financially motivated decision over sound clinical decision making will place all patients and staff in an unacceptable and immediate clinical danger. In addition, it breaches the Croke Park Agreement.
Speaking earlier today INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Patsy Doyle said:

“The INMO is calling on HSE South to reverse their decision to make these savage cuts which would place patients, staff and our members in immediate danger. CUH and CUMH have been repeatedly advanced to the public as the clinical market leader in public hospital care in Cork.

This decision, if implemented, will compromise the delivery of all services in these flagship hospitals as the staffing cuts are being solely focussed upon frontline grades who deliver direct care to patients.  The INMO, having made contact with the HSE last evening when it informally learned of this management decision, expects to meet with senior management on Monday.  

At this meeting we will be calling for a comprehensive, independent risk assessment to be carried out, before any staffing reductions are implemented, to assess the implications for safe care and this report to be made public and considered by all relevant parties.

The INMO will be seeking the retention of all staff, and the maintenance of all current services, in Cork, in the interests of patients, the general public and our members who are all dedicated to looking after those who find themselves in these Regional Centres.”


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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