Further to recent commentary delays in triage at NOWDOC the INMO, on behalf of nurses working in Donegal/Leitrim, has called on the HSE to properly fund the service to ensure it is safe for patients and staff.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Neal Donoghue said:
“Prior to and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic nurses working in NOWDOC sounded the alarm in relation to the serious lack of investment in the out-of-hours GP services for their communities.
“Significantly, at a time where all health care services are under immense pressure and the HSE is directing the public to use out-of-hours GP services rather than attend emergency departments no commensurate increase in triage services has been provided.
“In the Northwest, the HSE have fundamentally failed to put in place the necessary structures and supports required to manage NOWDOC. Nurses are reporting that this weakness is contributing to the risks to the public in terms of delays in patients being seen by GPs.
“Nurses in the service have a vast range of knowledge and expertise in telephone triage and endeavour to provide the highest standards of service to their communities. However, the HSE continues to employ nurses on temporary contracts in insufficient numbers which is simply unsustainable given the demand for their skills and expertise elsewhere and the service needs.”