Following on from my note yesterday, an update regarding the new agency changes with the HSE Procurement Office and HSE HR, which took place yesterday at Dr Steevens Hospital in Dublin, is as follows:
The meeting was attended by John Delamere, HR, CERS and John Swords, Head of Procurement HSE, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO; Oonagh Keating, Rosemary Bracken and Geraldine Talty joined by teleconference, on behalf of the INMO. Matters raised as follows.
1. The legal requirement to consult with trade unions in accordance with the Information and Consultation Regulation were completely ignored and not complied with; this is a matter of significance considering the instruction issued to the HSE in 2011. This lack of consultation was referred and was raised at the Health Service Oversight Body meeting on 30th of August 2017. A formal request to defer implementation date to allow required consultation take place was also made. This request has been denied by the HSE, therefore, the lack of adherence to the required consultation stands to be progressed as an issue in its own right. And same will be progressed.
2. No communication with, or consultation on, the new contracts occurred with the Directors of Nursing/Midwifery or Assistant Directors of Nursing who have responsibility for booking agency, prior to contracts being signed off. Again, the INMO sought a delay to the “go live” period date, to allow a period of consultation on implementation problems, but this was denied by the HSE.
Director of Industrial Relations, Phil Ní Sheaghdha informed management that out of hours and emergency requirements must be treated differently to scheduled absence. The insistence on email only communication, is not practical in situations where the responsible nurse manager is not office based, and usually working as the sole manager of all hospital services in the out of hours/night time period.
The INMO sought confirmation that HSE management would ensure that the existing bookings, which span the “go live” would be honoured until the booking period in question has expired.
The INMO also sought confirmation that the importance of bookings for specialist areas i.e critical care, dialysis, ED etc., would be exempt from the 2 hour wait times and that preference would be given to already trained and qualified staff booked regularly with the hospital and therefore skilled and practiced in the area.
The INMO reiterated that any adverse incident arising for patients is the responsibility of the HSE by way of refusing a lead in time, a lack of clarity and very poor communication regarding the practical exemptions that should be applied.
The INMO advised HSE management that we have advised our Nurse/Midwife Manager members to ensure patient safety at all times and that should this change to the booking agency system interferes with that, then they must disregard same in order to ensure patient safety.
The INMO have requested that the HSE confirm that they endorse patient safety issues being prioritised in this manner and to confirm that the Nurse/Midwife managers will be supported in prioritising safety issues. Furthermore, the INMO requested an immediate response (before 8 am on Friday 01st of September 2017) to the concerns listed above, considering these changes are due to be implemented today. No response has been issued to the INMO to date.
Should you have any queries regarding the above, please contact your Industrial Relations Officer for assistance.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha
Director of Industrial Relations
Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation | The Whitworth Building | North Brunswick Street| Dublin 7
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