Monday 22 January 2018

Further hospital chaos looms as talks to attract more nurses end in deadlock

INMO chief Liam Doran. Photo: Caroline Quinn
INMO chief Liam Doran. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Eilish O’Regan

Further hospital chaos is looming after talks aimed at attracting more nurses to work in the health service adjourned without agreement.

The deadlock means the executive council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is likely to give notice of industrial action when they meet on Monday.

Hospitals and community services face the increasing prospect of nurses imposing a work-to-rule from the end of February and escalating the action to one-day stoppages.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and SITPU want the HSE to introduce a range of incentives to try to attract more nurses to apply for jobs and end the serious shortage which is affecting services.

However, both unions said tonight that the two days of talks led to “no progress.”

The INMO said unless there is a radical change its executive will meet on Monday and will likely give notice of industrial action.

This would hit hospitals at the end of February and bring more disruption as they continue to struggled with the trolley crisis.

The talks began yesterday between the unions and officials at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Officials from the Department of Health, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the HSE were present.

A nurses’ spokeswoman said: ”At the talks, this afternoon, it became clear that health service management have no funded workforce plan to address the current unsafe staffing levels.

General Secretary, Liam Doran said: “The meeting today was very disappointing and confirmed that health service management are either unable, or unwilling, to address this crisis on both a short and medium term basis.

“The INMO Executive Council will meet on Monday and, in the absence, of a radical change from management, in their efforts to address this issue, are likely to sanction industrial action following their recent ballot.”

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