Responding to the announcement that the HSE is to impose a recruitment freeze on certain health care workers, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has stated that although Nurses and Midwives are exempt from this freeze, an embargo on recruitment among healthcare workers will have a direct impact on their ability to deliver safe care.
The union stated today that the decision to put an embargo on recruiting more staff will add more pressure to an already squeezed health workforce, where staff are under consdierable pressure.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said:
“While the decision by the HSE to impose a recruitment freeze will not impact the much-needed recruitment of additional nurses and midwives, it will add to the pressure that our members who are working in overcrowded and understaffed wards are already facing.
“Our members will not be carrying out the roles of grades that the HSE will not recruit. Starving the health service of much-needed staff will send frontline healthcare services into free fall.
“We are about to head into a winter of many unknowns but one thing we do know is that the same old problems associated with chronic overcrowding will only be exacerbated by a lack of clinical staff on our wards.
“Annual financial overruns will continue as long as the basis on which funding is derived is flawed, and recruitment freezes such as this will not fix the funding problem, while they will definitely ensure increased pressure on services that are already stretched to the limit.”
“INMO members in hospitals across the country report to us on a daily basis how impossible it is to provide the safe care that their patients need and deserve. Not having a full complement of healthcare staff will only exacerbate that.
“This situation demonstrates exactly why we need a legislative basis for implementing the safe staffing framework. If staff numbers are about to start reducing then it cannot be expected that they will continue to run at the same rate, or patient safety will be compromised. That’s why the HSE and the Minister for Health must urgently outline the services they now must curtail as a result of this freeze."