Update - ED Expert Group Report On Emergency Department Staffing
Thursday, 8th September 2016
I refer again to the ongoing implementation of the national ED Agreement between the INMO/HSE/Department of Health.
In particular I refer to my recent update, following the fifth review by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), and the part of the agreement which stipulated a review of ED Nurse Staffing by an Expert Group. Once again please click here for a copy of that report which was recently finalised and forwarded to the INMO/Department of Health/HSE.
I can now confirm that I met with senior officials, from the HSE/Department of Health, last Tuesday afternoon, 6th September 2016, to discuss the implementation of this report’s recommendations.
In particular I can now confirm the following:
1. Immediate steps will be taken to implement the recommendation providing for additional (permanent) staff, on a separate roster, to look after all admitted patients in Emergency Departments.
2. The recommended work, with regard to appointing additional Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), in certain identified hospitals, including the back filling of staff nurses posts where relevant, will commence immediately.
3. Agreement was reached on a renewed, dedicated, recruitment campaign aimed at filling all existing staff nurse vacancies in EDs across the country. It is hoped this renewed campaign will commence in the next week or so.
4. It was also agreed that the Taskforce on Nurse Staffing will be immediately asked to initiate further work to establish a specific method of determining the staffing levels required (excluding all admitted patients who will now be under the care of a separate cadre of nursing staff) for all Emergency Departments across the country
All of these developments will be considered by the INMO’s Executive Council, when it meets next Monday / Tuesday. The additional staff for EDs arising from these recommendations have the potential to improve the working environment for ED staff. It has been stated, repeatedly, that retaining responsibility for admitted patients, in a busy ED is unsafe and separate staffing, to provide the required care, will be a positive development.
We are, however, acutely aware, particularly in the current labour market environment, that agreement to fill additional posts does not automatically result in additional staff becoming available due to the fact that we have such a nursing shortage.
In that regard the whole issue of nurse / midwife staffing levels will be the subject of a dedicated campaign, by the Organisation, in the coming weeks. However, in the context of what management have now agreed, we can assure every member that we will demand the full implementation of all of the foregoing measures, recommended by this ED Expert Group, immediately.
We will keep you fully advised of developments on these issues.
In the interim please continue to actively participate in the local ED Forum meetings and continue to advise the Organisation of any failings by management to implement all strands of the agreement.