Nurses set to vote on potential strike action in latest blow to HSE 4 months ago

Nurses set to vote on potential strike action in latest blow to HSE

The INMO have said that increased funding for staffing is needed to avoid 'catastrophe'.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are set to hold a vote over a potential national ballot on industrial action, in the wake of the HSE's announcement of the hiring of 854 additional nurses.

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In the newly-announced scheme, €25 million has been made available by the Department of Health to provide staffing increases in acutely impacted hospitals around Ireland.

Nurses potential strike The news of the potential industrial action is the latest in a series of blows for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. (Credit: Rolling News)

Whilst the INMO have welcomed this announcement from government, it has also reiterated its belief that it doesn't go far enough, and that in order to avoid the "catastrophic impact" of last winter, a fully funded safe staffing plan "underpinned by legislation" is desperately needed.

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Last month, it was revealed that staffing shortages had led to the HSE's worst ever month for overcrowding, as nearly 13,000 people were treated on trollies or chairs.

Responding in an emergency motion, the INMO executive council has proposed that its members "commence a ballot for industrial action in mid-September", in the absence of "significant progress" in rectifying the organisation's concerns.

What constitutes as "significant progress" was also set out in the motion, which stated that it requires the implementation of legislation that will underpin the existing framework of safe nursing.

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HSE CEO Bernard Gloster also spoke today of his wish to see more student nurses promised permanent jobs, adding that the HSE needs to be "extremely careful" about how staff recruited from abroad are being treated.

Gloster went on to say that the HSE is looking to ramp up both domestic training places and foreign recruitment, as it aims to alleviate the current staffing shortages which plague the health service.

Payroll issues within the HSE were another contentious topic brought up by the INMO, and one which it say needs to be resolved immediately.

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The news of the strike is just the latest blow for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, with the recent news of a fresh cervical check scandal rocking the Department for Health.

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