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Wednesday, 27th March 2024

INMO refers HSE recruitment freeze to Workplace Relations Commission

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Clerical and admin staff at the Lourdes Hospital, members of the Fórsa Trade Union, pictured during their lunchtime protest in early December last.

The HSE’s freeze on recruitment continues despite nationwide protests by health workers. In December clerical and administrative staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital staged a lunchtime protest over the issue and today the INMO has referred it to the Workplace Relations Commission and is due to be heard tomorrow. 

INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: 

“The number of patients being treated without a bed in Irish hospitals, particularly in the Midwest, is very concerning and does not bode well for the Easter bank holiday weekend ahead. The HSE needs to immediately outline how it will be planning to discharge patients ahead of the weekend. 

“The sheer number of patients on trolleys is not helped by the fact that practically all hospitals are running short because of the HSE recruitment freeze which is having a detrimental impact on patient and staff safety. 

“This recruitment moratorium of frontline patient-facing staff cannot and should not continue. As the union representing nurses and midwives we have not been satisfied with the HSE’s response to date. We have referred this issue to the Workplace Relations Commission and the matter is to be heard before a conciliation conference tomorrow. 

“The recruitment moratorium as it stands poses very serious health and safety risks to nurses and midwives who find themselves working short continuously. It further deteriorates the increasingly dangerous work environment for nurses and midwives, makes creating a safe environment for patients impossible and will have long- term impacts on retaining and recruiting staff.” 

As of today, according to the INMO’s daily trolley watch survey, there are 583 patients on trolleys, including 18 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and 131 in University Hospital Limerick.

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