RNs - Ireland

Nurses claim mental health services are in 'free fall'

Eithne Donnellan, Irish Times, August 12, 2010 Mental Health services are in “free fall” at a time when the demand for services was never greater, according to the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA). In a report prepared for the HSE and the Minister for Health, the union says this is because of the huge numbers of psychiatric nurses retiring who are not being replaced due to the moratorium on recruitment and due to the small proportion of the health budget being spent on mental health in Ireland, where at 5.3 per cent of the overall health budget it is less than half the 12 per cent spent in the UK. At the same time demands on the service are increasing, with rates of suicide going up ... Nurses

Psychiatric hospitals forced to call in riot squad

Belfast Telegraph, August 12, 2010 Police wearing riot gear are being drafted in to deal with an upsurge of violence in psychiatric hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. The revelation was made in a disturbing new report which revealed that hundreds of psychiatric nurses have been forced to retire because of growing violence, stress and staff cuts. The situation has become so bad that hospitals are now forced to hire private security firms because of the threat caused by violent male patients. ... Psychiatric

Mental health services in 'freefall'

RTE.ie, August 11, 2010 The Psychiatric Nurses' Association has claimed that mental health services are in 'freefall', with 20% of psychiatric nurses retiring from the HSE in the last two years. In a report to Minister for Health Mary Harney, the PNA says 596 psychiatric nurses retired last year, many due to stress, assaults from patients and cuts in services. The PNA estimates that up to 250 psychiatric nurses will retire this year. PNA General Secretary Des Kavanagh said that because of the shortage of nurses and the threat posed by some patients, security companies are being employed in some hospitals to provide secure 'care'. ... Mental

Nurses in Dingle back industrial action

Irish Times, July 8, 2010 Nurses in Dingle have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action. The results of Tuesday’s ballot have been communicated to the HSE and notice served, a spokesman said yesterday. The action, which will see nurses refuse to transfer to the new €16.4 million community hospital in the town, centres on staffing numbers and security issues. Staff and 43 patients are due to transfer from Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital to the new facility at the end of this month. © 2010 The Irish Times

Cuts Put Nurses' Frontline Role In Peril

4NI National News, July 7, 2010 There has been a stark warning sounded today over the impact of the Department of Health's recently announced 2% cut in the Health and Social Care pay bill. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Director of Nursing in NI, Janice Smyth, (pictured) said it was paramount that the health trusts engage with those delivering frontline services, as they know best where the efficiencies can be made. She said that the Health Department's policy of no longer using bank or agency staff means that increasingly nurses are not being replaced when gaps appear in a rota due to sickness or maternity. ... Cuts

NI nurses' jobs not under threat says health minister

BBC, July 7, 2010 Nurses The RCN claims 500 nursing posts could be lost The health minister has said nurses' jobs are not under threat because of spending cuts. The Royal College of Nursing claimed up to 1,300 jobs in Northern Ireland could be cut in a bid to save money. However, Michael McGimpsey said there were no plans to reduce nursing staff. The figures were released as the RCN launched a UK-wide Frontline First campaign to highlight the threat to services. ... NI

Bon Secours nurses protest over what they claim is their employer’s decision to renege on pay agreement

Mary O’Connor, Galway Advertiser, July 1, 2010. Nurses at the Bon Secours Hospital in Renmore staged a lunchtime protest yesterday (Wednesday) to highlight what they claim is their employer’s decision to renege on a pay agreement brokered earlier this year. The 90 members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation at the private hospital on the Dublin road took the action, which they say did not affect patient care, between 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM. Similar protests were held at the three other Bon Secours hospitals in Cork, Dublin and Tralee. Noreen Muldoon, the union’s industrial relations officer in the west, says the protest came in the wake of growing dissatisfaction among its members. ... Bon

Nurses compensated for non-payment of bonuses

Martin Wall, Irish Times, July 1, 2010 Top-Level nursing staff in some of the country’s largest hospitals have been awarded sums of between €6,853 and €7,412 by a rights commissioner in compensation for bonus payments which were withheld by the HSE. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA)said yesterday that the Rights Commissioner Service had upheld their case that the refusal of the HSE to make performance-related payments, due in 2008, represented an illegal deduction under the Payments of Wages Act 1991. The unions said the case involved 28 staff in director of nursing posts in major hospitals ... Nurses

Nurses partake in street protest at Kilkenny hospital cuts

Naoise Coogan, Kilkenny Advertiser, June 25, 2010 Kilkenny nurses are to take to the streets today (Friday) in a protest at bed closures and nurse ‘redeployments’ which are to occur at Kilkreene Orthapaedic Hospital this month and carry on until the end of December this year. Nurses from Saint Luke’s Hospital and Saint Columba’s Hospital in Thomastown will also be partaking in the action over cuts in those hospitals in recent months including the closure of the gynaecology ward at Saint Luke’s. ... Nurses

Nurses overwhelmingly reject deal

Martin Wall, Irish Times, May 29, 2010 Members of the largest union representing nurses around the State have overwhelmingly rejected the Croke Park deal on public service pay and reform. Separately yesterday members of the trade union Unite and the craft union TEEU also voted against the agreement. However, members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association have voted decisively in favour of the Croke Park proposals. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said its members had voted by 84 per cent to 16 per cent to reject the deal. The nurses’ organisation is one of the largest public service trade unions with more than 40,000 members. ... Nurses

Nurses warn against 'cutbacks'

BBC News, May 15, 2010 Delegates at a major nursing conference in Londonderry have warned politicians about the dangers of cutting back spending on health. The conference at the University of Ulster's Magee campus is examining the current problems faced by the health service. It will also look at the legacy of Florence Nightingale. Janice Smyth from the Royal College of Nursing says nurses are under unprecedented pressure. "What's important to nurses is that they have the resources, the staff and the nurses on the ground to provide adequate care to patients. "What distresses nurses and makes them anxious and concerned is when they believe that they are going off duty, not having done for their patients what they would wish to do." © BBC MMX

Recruitment freeze 'hurts patients'

Belfast Telegraph, May 5, 2010 Patients are suffering in silence due to a merciless recruitment embargo in the health sector, a union leader has claimed. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation maintained Government and health chiefs have no appreciation of how tough it is on hospital wards as staff numbers drop. Around 320 delegates will attend the organisation's three-day annual conference in Trim, Co Meath, where 51 motions will be debated. ... Recruitment

New statutory framework for nurses and midwives published

Aoife Connors, Irish Medical Times, April 22, 2010 The Minister for Health, Mary Harney, today announced the publication of the Nurses and Midwives Bill 2010. The Bill provides for a modern statutory framework for the regulation of the nursing and midwifery professions. The Minister said, “I am very pleased to publish this draft Bill which follows on the regulatory changes introduced for other health professionals in recent years all of which are aimed at supporting and increasing public confidence in the way we deliver and oversee our health services.” ... New

Nurses' union calls for rejection of proposal

Martin Wall, Irish Times, April 14, 2010 The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said that it was not prepared to recommend acceptance of the deal on public service pay and reform as it failed to provide guarantees that there would be no further salary reductions and would require it to back policies which would materially damage the health service. The INMO yesterday became the sixth public service trade union in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to call on members to reject the agreement reached at Croke Park a fortnight ago. ... Nurses

Unions split over public sector pay

Belfast Telegraph, April 14, 2010 Divisions among trade unionists have deepened over the proposed public sector pay and reform deal after two major unions took opposing positions. The leadership of Siptu is recommending its 70,000 members in the public sector back the deal. But officials at the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are pushing its 40,000 workers to throw it out. The leadership of seven unions representing public sector workers now oppose the package, while four are behind it. ... Unions

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