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Devine urges Minister to act with urgency on PNA industrial action

9 July, 2019 - by Máire Devine

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) have stated today that their members will cease working beyond contracted hours from next Thursday in response to the lack of meaningful progress in talks with the HSE to address the recruitment and retention issues in mental health services.

Senator Máire Devine, a former PNA branch secretary, said:

“The PNA have been working hard with government officials for over four months to deescalate this situation, yet little progress has been made. This is the same recruitment and retention crisis that saw nurses and midwives across the country out on the picket in March.  The PNA have said that the recruitment and retention crisis has been exacerbated by some of the actions of the HSE itself. These include embargos, lack of permanent posts for new graduates, and an inability to compete with the private sector who are attracting staff by offering newly qualified nurses a starting salary on 5th point scale.

“Nurses take their duty of care more seriously than anything else. If nurses are pushed into acting, it means something is very wrong both inside hospitals and in government buildings. Like the nursing and midwives strike that we saw earlier this year, this is about patient safety and staff wellbeing. Psychiatric nurses need adequate staffing levels to protect their patients.

“Psychiatric nurses have been more than patient, and the government have relied on their good will for too long. I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to act with urgency to address this situation.” 

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