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Nursing staff (members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association) at St Ita's Hospital in Portane, North Dublin have voted overwhelmingly to commence industrial action, up to and including strike action, in protest at the growing impact of staff shortages  on St. Joseph's  Intellectual Disability  services within St Ita's.

The ballot of PNA members voted overwhelmingly to commence industrial action on a phased basis of escalation in St Joseph's Intellectual Disability services starting on Friday August 21 st .

PNA Branch Secretary, Michael Guilfoyle said  

‘Two years after a 2013 Labour Court ruling on staffing at Joseph's,  the HSE has still not fully complied with the recommendations and staff are not prepared to allow this deteriorating situation continue. As we have stated the impact of the staff shortages are all too obvious for the nurses charged with delivering mental health and ID services across North Dublin. They include.

  • Closure and reduction of services
  • Lack of continuity of care
  • Service Users and Staff Health, Safety & Welfare compromised
  • Cancellation of mandatory training
  • Increase in stress levels
  • Low staff morale
  • Lack of access to important Continuous Professional Development for staff

Mr Guilfoyle said staff had been further angered in recent days by a number of ‘panic' measures introduced by HSE to try to alleviate the staffing shortage including the closure of a residential house and the resettlement of clients to other unsuitable units without compliance with agreed resettlement procedures. This has resulted in increased anxiety for both clients and staff.

Mr Guilfoyle said it was regrettable that staffs have been forced to take industrial action.

‘PNA remains available to meet with HSE management but only if comprehensive proposals to finally and fully address the issues at St Joseph's are on the table.'

Media Contacts: Michael Guilfoyle 086 2524594/ Derek Cunningham 0862430535