The INMO has today (Thursday) stated that the new HSE Service Plan brings welcome investment, but that urgent clarity is required.

The union is calling for clarity on staffing supports, as well as recruitment and retention initiatives, particularly for critical care nursing staff.

The INMO is also seeking detail on:

  • Specific funding for required additional nurses and midwives including critical care to staff additional funded capacity.
  • Safe staffing framework: Funding allocation for completion of the rollout of phase 1, as well as funding for phases 2 and 3 in Emergency, Community and Long-Term Care.
  • Midwife-led units: The €12m investment in delivering the National Maternity Strategy is welcome, but funded expansion of midwife-led units is required as well as measures to ensure safe midwife-to-birth ratios across the service.
  • Allocation of funds must ensure Sláintecare moves beyond project-based changes to real public service delivery for universal health care.

INMO President, Karen McGowan said:

While critically over half of the total budget will go toward COVID-19 spending, allocation must be made for replacement staff to ensure the nursing and midwifery workforce can recover from this absolutely physically exhausting and mentally traumatic period.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:

The HSE expressed publicly that they would adopt a zero tolerance approach to overcrowding  during this pandemic, but there are 206 patients on trolleys in Irish hospitals this morning, and despite 100 additional beds in University Hospital Limerick there is still excessive overcrowding.

The additional funding must be allocated directly to the frontline in order to ensure the enhancement of services to the public. We simply cannot slip back into pre-Covid habits. The safe delivery of care with the appropriate staffing levels in COVID-19 environments is crucial, and a commitment to this cannot be ignored.

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