Monday 23 October 2017

Nurses 'should get extra pay to offset cost of renting in capital'

Rachel Kenna with Marvella Afumbom (1) and staff nurse Liliya Petkova celebrating International Nurses Day at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Rachel Kenna with Marvella Afumbom (1) and staff nurse Liliya Petkova celebrating International Nurses Day at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Nurses in Dublin should get extra top-ups in recognition of the higher cost of renting, Crumlin's director of nursing has said.

Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin has lost nurses to other hospitals outside of Dublin, where rents are lower.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is currently calling for a special deal for groups such as nurses and doctors in the pay talks in light of the ongoing shortages in hospitals which are impacting on patient care.

Crumlin's Rachel Kenna said she would like to see a Dublin weighting allowance, which gives nurses in the capital extra allowances in recognition of the higher cost of renting.

"Incentives like that help. We offer great opportunities to nurses in the hospital," she said.

The failure to recruit enough theatre nurses at Our Lady's Hospital meant that a new state-of-the art theatre was only performing one day's surgery a week despite the waiting list of children in need of spinal operations to treat their scoliosis.

Ms Kenna said it had hired another 17 nurses, nine of whom will work in theatre and from July the theatre can do operations for three days a week.

"We have an ongoing recruitment campaign," she said. "We are victims of our own success as well. Our nurses are so highly trained they get promotional opportunities in other hospitals."

She said recently arrived nurses from overseas are delighted with the new operating theatre.

In Tallaght Hospital, nurses who hail from as many as 17 different countries now make up the workforce. The hospital had no vacancies for funded nursing posts and an important part of its success had been its ability to attract nurses from overseas, said director of nursing Aine Lynch.

Trainee nurses in a hospital who graduate are potential gold dust - but too many are packing their bags for countries such as Australia.

"As a teaching hospital we have 60 nurses graduate every year. They were a pool we wanted to target and retain," she said. "We managed to retain over 90pc in 2016."

Tallaght Hospital has also facilitated the additional recruitment of 38 nurses for other hospitals. And it was able to re-divert nurses to other hospitals.

Irish Independent

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