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(I) Background To National Ballot, (Ii) Notification Of Risk To Safe Care/Practic
NEWS Updatea. 3 - 5th November 2015

NEWS UPDATE NO. 3 - Thursday, 5th November 2015

(I)   Background To National Ballot,   (Ii)    Notification Of Risk To Safe Care/Practice

Dear Colleague

I refer to my previous note arising from the recent meeting of our local representatives, from all Emergency Departments, and our discussions with the Minister for Health.


You will recall that, arising from these discussions, we identified areas that needed to be positively addressed including:

  • staffing levels (including recruitment and retention initiatives);
  • health and safety issues;
  • 24/7 use of the agreed escalation policy;
  • extended clinical decision making presence; and
  • improved diagnostic arrangements for Triage Nurses.

It is with regret that I must inform you that insufficient progress has been made on these issues following discussions with the HSE.


In view of this the INMO Executive Council, at its meeting last Tuesday, decided that we would commence a national ballot, of all members in Emergency Departments, seeking a mandate for a national collective dispute.  In this regard your local IRO will be in contact with you, very shortly, to arrange information meetings and balloting over the two week period Monday, 9th November to Tuesday, 24th November 2015.  Dates and times of local meetings will be notified directly to you.

From the feedback from members, arising from our recent meetings, it is quite clear that members have had enough, are grossly overworked and concerned about safe practice.  Members do not feel that sufficient attention is being paid, either by management locally or nationally, to this crisis.  Therefore, collective action is necessary, by members, to protect their own practice, their own health and wellbeing and, fundamentally, the care they give to patients.   Please attend your local meeting to learn more and participate in the ballot.


You may have seen, as part of the media coverage of an event in Tallaght in recent days, that Tallaght Hospital management has stated they received no notification of increased risk, for the duration of an individual patient’s stay, in the Emergency Department.  This is only further evidence, if it were needed, of the need for every member, whenever they feel their ability to provide safe care is compromised or risk of patient harm has increased, to document their concern and notify their management.

Therefore please note:

(i)    Members are advised to document their concerns, either through the local risk form or the INMO disclaimer form, each and every time (and this may be more than once on any shift) and submit to management to protect your patients and your own practice.

    -    You must keep your own record.  

(ii)    Failure to notify management, of increased risk, only allows management, in the event of any issue arising, to seek to blame staff for the situation as they could not do anything because no-one told them of the risk.

(iii)    Do not be silent when you are unable to provide safe care or when you identify increased risk for your patients, and/or for yourself, due to the environment in which you are being to work.


It is recognised these are increasingly difficult times, for all our Emergency Department nurse members, as the level of overcrowding continues to increase.  This national ballot leading, if necessary, to collective action is a further step in our campaign to improve your working environment by increasing your staffing levels and the processes, within all departments, to assist with maintaining patient care.  

Please attend your local meeting, participate in the ballot and details of any action, if it is necessary, will be notified to you in due course.

Finally, notify your management, on an ongoing basis, of all risks to safe care and safe practice.

Thank you for your attention to this note.

Yours sincerely

General Secretary

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