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INMO condemns HSE plans to slash frontline staffing numbers at St Finbarr’s, Cork
Press Release 22.01.18
- Management’s proposal would negatively affect patient care and services at the hospital
- INMO to meet Fianna Fáil Leader, Micheál Martin today Monday January 22 at 3pm
HSE Management wish to cut nursing and frontline care hours at St Finbarr’s community hospital despite the clear need to maintain safe staffing levels. INMO members at St Finbarr’s have balloted for Industrial Action and this threat of action is currently suspended to allow for discussions between the parties. The INMO and the HSE met at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on December 1st, 2017, and HSE management outlined their plans to cut 16 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) nurses on financial grounds. The INMO rejected management’s proposal as this would leave St Finbarr’s hospital severely short staffed. The HSE agreed to reverse the cuts as an interim measure to prevent industrial action commencing on January 2nd, 2018 to allow for further talks.
St Finbarr’s is pivotal to patient flow from Cork University Hospital and the Mercy Hospital within Cork and has 160 beds. The care provided by staff at St Finbarr’s hospital is second to none, however these savage cuts, which the HSE aim to implement will have a detrimental effect on the care delivered within St Finbarr’s. The HSE are also attempting to reduce the number of Healthcare Assistants at the facility. The plan to cut frontline staffing numbers by 21 WTE’s (16 nursing WTE’s and 5 HCA’s) is absurd and will adversely affect the residents of the service. 
INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Liam Conway said: 
“The INMO are continuing to engage with HSE management, seeking to ensure that these cuts are not implemented for the sake of patients, residents, staff and the people of Cork. St Finbarr’s is an essential service and a very important facility in allowing patients to be discharged from the acute hospitals and any attempt to cut staffing will negatively affect the service provided.” 
Mr Conway concluded:
“All best practice guidelines show that if you reduce nursing contact hours with patients, the quality of care will be compromised. There are already 16 WTE vacancies within St Finbarr’s. Nursing staff have been working extra shifts to protect patients and maintain the service. However, this is unsustainable and will lead to staff burnout.”
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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