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INMO Says Patient Care Already Being Compromised Due To Recruitment Embargo.
Press Release 17.11.11

- Over 3,100 nursing/midwifery posts lost already resulting in closure of services.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has expressed grave concern at the failure of the government, in its Public Service Reform Programme announced today, to protect nursing/midwifery, and other frontline posts, from further reductions in the next three years.

The health service has already lost 3,100 nursing /midwifery posts, in an uncontrolled and unmanaged way, which has, and is, resulting in patient care being compromised and frontline services being curtailed and/or closed.

The failure of the government to give explicit guarantees that this uncontrolled downsizing will cease, with regard to these frontline posts, can only result in a further contraction of essential services and a reduction in the quality of care available to patients.

Regardless of whatever reform programme is finalised, for the health service, to suggest that it can be done while frontline posts are lost, in a haphazard and irrational manner, is foolhardy and illogical.  The reform of the health service must centre upon management structures and not further impinge, or inhibit, the ability of frontline staff in adequate numbers, to meet the needs of patients/clients with ever increasing levels of illness, dependency and morbidity.

Between now and the budget, the government must review the manner in which the current recruitment embargo is applied in the health service and adjust this so that senior nurse/midwifery managers are always empowered to ensure the appropriate and adequate numbers of staff are available at the bedside.

Speaking this evening, INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“In recent days we have seen the Master of the Rotunda Hospital, and senior HSE management, state that services are being compromised, reduced, or closed completely, directly as a result of a shortage of nurses and midwives.

Against this background, and while recognising reform involving efficient and effective delivery of care is required, the government must realise the fundamental flaw in current policy and bring forward measures which protect, in a real and overt way, frontline services.

The health service is under increasing pressure, due to overall population numbers, our unique age profile and the increasing demand for specialist services.

No amount of redeployment, reconfiguration or rationalisation will meet this increased demand safely and in a quality assured way, so there cannot be any further reduction in nursing and midwifery posts and indeed we need to increase the number of these posts in almost every area of our health system.

The current unmanaged and uncontrolled approach to staffing must be reversed in any reform programme finally brought forward for our health services.”

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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