Training of HCAs: A motion from South Donegal Branch calling for national standards in the training of healthcare assistants (HCAs) elicited lively debate from delegates. Those in favour said that it was preferable to work with well-trained HCAs caring for patients and that, rather than diminishing the role of nurses and midwives, this would enhance it. “We are accountable for their work and they need to be accountable for their work as well,” said one Donegal delegate. Arguments against the motion said ensuring a 60:40 ratio of nurses to HCAs was what was important, not the up-skilling of HCAs. This motion was remitted to the Executive Council, at the request of Therese Maher, for further research into the education and examination of HCAs, as well as their registration, regulation and accountability.
Zero hours contracts: Proposing a Dundalk Branch motion, Aoife Carr called for the end of nurse and midwives being given ‘zero hour’ permanent contracts and for such contracts to be amended to include weekly hours of work. “In any given week staff on these contracts may have fulltime hours, minimal hours or no hours at all,” she said.
Agency posts: The Laois Branch called for the regularisation of all agency posts in continuous employment for four years, under the Protection of Employee (Fixed Term) Work Act 2003. This would ensure that HSE cease the practise of long term agency posts in the health service, said Joe Hoolan of Laois Branch. “Agency staff have no guarantee when they have worked in a place for years that they will get a permanent post eventually. They should be regularised into a post after a certain length of time.”
|ADC - Motions in brief|