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Hospitals and nurses are at breaking point – O’ Reilly

24 May, 2016 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking today as nurses in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital commence work-to-rule action, Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly said;

“Hospitals and nurses are at breaking point and it is not possible to deliver safe care with a recruitment embargo of any type in place.

“We are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in encouraging nurses and other health professionals to work in our public health service. Yet, the confusion over the HSE suspension of recruitment is an automatic deterrent for those who may have been interested in coming into positions in our strained services.

“The HSE are maintaining the optics of no recruitment, exacerbating the current recruitment crisis. These actions give nursing and health professionals the impression that there is no future in Irish hospitals.   

“This is an insult to everyone working in the health service and those nurses on work to rule today are trying to highlight the severe strain they are under due to lack of staffing, which negatively impacts patient care and outcomes. Nurses leaving college need to know this and patients on trolleys need to see our Minister acting- his silence is not good enough.

“Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, like many hospitals across this State, faces a series of crises in health provision.  This is impacting on patient care and results in high levels of stress for staff members. Indeed, short of the goodwill, dedication and compassion of those nurses, it is likely that the crisis would have worse consequences.

“Minister Harris has inherited a health crisis created by Fine Gael and Labour but he is nowhere to be seen. In the midst of ongoing Emergency Department, waiting lists and trolley crises, coupled with the suspension of recruitment in the HSE, he has not come forward to allay any of the grave concerns of those who are working in the hospital system. Today’s work-to-rule is an urgent call for the Minister to step in and clarify whether there is an active recruitment drive, if there will be nurses recruited across all hospital departments and what is the exact status of the recruitment embargo.”

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