The General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) Des Kavanagh today (Friday) called on the Government to ensure that the provision of mental health services at primary care level are a key element of its planned introduction of a Universal Health Insurance system.
Mr Kavanagh was addressing the Annual Delegate Conference of the PNA in Galway which will be addressed by the Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Disabilities, Ms Kathleen Lynch T.D. later today.
Mr Kavanagh told delegates that while the Government continues to reiterate its commitment to the reorganisation of the health services under a system of UHI there has been little evidence of how the needs of the mentally ill and intellectually disabled are to be addressed in the proposed system.
‘In an insurance based UHI system the last thing the profit chasing Insurance Companies want is clients with lifelong needs. We need assurance from Government that control of health services will not be handed over to the Insurance Industry. We need guarantees that our patients in all parts of the country will have access to services which are responsive and equitable.'
Mr Kavanagh said PNA would be seeking assurances from Minister of State, Kathleen Lynch that the development of the Irish model of UHI gives adequate consideration to the provision of mental health services.
‘The successful implementation of universal primary care requires much more than the passing of legislation to allow all qualified GPs access to GMS patients and funding. The services available to patients from that GP must embrace the full range of appropriate primary care therapies, including access to Primary Care Psychiatric and ID Nurses.
‘There must be a broadening of professional services across primary care. GP services are under enormous strain and often cannot adequately respond to individuals dealing with mental distress. In reality the most appropriate strategy is the referral of the individual to a psychiatric nurse at primary care level for CBT, Counselling, stress management training etc.'
‘The evidence of the success of this approach at primary care level is there both from international research and from the success of the small numbers of Psychiatric Nurses currently assigned to Primary Care Teams'.
Mr Kavanagh said the Minister must positively pursue the recruitment and deployment of appropriately qualified Psychiatric Nurses to Primary Care teams across the country. This would ensure that the first pillar of UHI is built on a strong foundation of equitable access for all persons, including those with mental ill health, to appropriate and responsive care at primary care level.
‘From an economic perspective this makes absolute sense as the cost of a quality service would be funded by a significant reduction in drug prescribing, the reduction in addiction to prescribed medications, the provision of early intervention and the reduction in referrals to secondary care.'
The Conference also reaffirmed PNA's outright opposition, to the proposed HSE graduate programme, and reiterated that it is nothing other than an attempt to introduce cheap labour under a superficial guise of an educational graduate programme.
‘The HSE presented this flawed initiative as some sort of opportunity for new graduates. In reality, was an overt attempt to recruit cheap labour in breach of agreed salaries. Graduate nurses have shown their contempt for this scheme by their complete boycott of it. That boycott remains in place and we are calling on Minister for State, Lynch to prevail on the HSE to abandon this discredited scheme completely', said Des Kavanagh.
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Press and Media Information
Following a Special Session of the its Annual Delegate Conference in Galway today (Thursday) the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said it will ballot for industrial action in the event that the Government moves to implement pay cuts by legislation. The PNA also called on other public service unions to match the threatening rhetoric of Government Ministers to legislate for cuts by balloting for industrial action.
PNA General Secretary, Des Kavanagh said; ‘Those unions who voted ‘No' have warned Government not to legislate for pay cuts. Much more is now required. We must demonstrate our determination to protect our members by moving to ballot for industrial action. This will result in an ‘industrial relations deterrent' to leave Government in no doubt of our preparedness to act forcefully to defend our members'.
Mr. Kavanagh said delegates at Conference were angry at Government Ministers who repeatedly showed that they have no understanding of the difficulties that low and middle income public service families are experiencing.
CISM Network Ireland and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – Healthcare present a joint conference: “Occupational Health and Safety: A Psychosocial Perspective”
11th June 2013, Department of Psychology, John Hume Building, North Campus, NUI Maynooth
CALL FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS EXTENDED UNTIL 30th APRIL 2013
HORATIO: European Psychiatric Nursing Congress 2013 with the theme “Stepped care provided by psychiatric nurses in different parts of the world”, 31 October-2 November 2013
GOVERNMENT AND UNIONS UNITE TO DELIVER FURTHER CATASTROPHIC BLOW TO FRONTLINE STAFF
PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR SYNOPSIS DOCUMENTS FROM SEAMUS MURPH, DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY, PNA
Croke Park 2 Cover Memo
Croke Park 2 Synopsis
Please click here and look for the link "Unions and Govt continue Croke Park" in news content.....
Please click here to view RTE Report.....
Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing
6th June Annual Symposium
‘Mental Health Recovery in Ireland : The state of play'
Athlone Institute of Technology
Following a meeting of its National Executive Committee, Psychiatric Nurses Association today (Monday 11 th March) announced that its members will embark on a number of protest actions in response to the proposed cuts in the Croke Park II agreement.
The PNA has decided on the following measures to take effect from Tuesday 19 th March. Members will:
• Not use their personal mobile phones for work purposes.
• Not use their own cars for routine travel associated with their work.
• Adhere strictly to their rosters i.e. they will not agree to swap days to facilitate covering shortages arising from the Government moratorium etc.
Please click on the following link for full text of LRC Proposals re Croke Park 2
24/7 Alliance Unite to Resist Pay Cuts _Government Approach Targets Frontline Staff
Full Press Release Click Here
National Meeting of 24/7 Alliance takes place next Monday 18th in the National Basketball Arena @ 6pm
Directions to National Basket Ball Arena
Take the Tallaght exit (exit 11) off the M50 and follow the signs towards Tallaght Village. Turn right at the first roundabout and left at the next small roundabout. Take a right turn at the traffic lights and follow the road passing the church and shopping centre (on your left). You will see The Penny Black Pub on your left and our enterence is opposite this.
Public Trasport: Buses: 77A, 65B & 54A
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