Health news 2011
IMPACT members working in the mid west region have voiced concerns that new management structures at Limerick regional hospital, which are set to commence in January, will include a ‘raid’ on primary care budgets in the region. Members in the region said any such move will have a damaging effect on community based services and primary care teams.
Eight workers employed by the People With Disabilities Ireland (PWDI) are facing redundancy at the end of December as the agency’s funding has been terminated by the Department of Justice, Equality and Defence.
Unions have been assured that planned measures to cut spending on allowances and premium payments will be done within the scope of the Croke Park agreement, which does not allow for cuts in the rates themselves.
Maintaining the level and quality of public services with 6,000 fewer staff and €1.4 billion less current spending, against a background of growing demand for services, will be a huge challenge. That was IMPACT’s reaction to yesterday’s Government statement of 2012 public spending and staffing plans.
Five staff members at People With Disabilities Ireland (PWDI) have been put on notice after justice minister Alan Shatter said his department would no longer fund the agency. The organisation, which is run by people with disabilities, their families and carers, provides a range of services to people throughout the country.
IMPACT has welcomed the reversal of the HSE’s decision to defer the reimbursement of transport costs incurred by its staff. The move came the day after the union wrote to health minister James Reilly urging him to instruct the HSE to think again.
Rural and urban health services will suffer badly if the HSE refuses to cover the transport costs incurred by social workers, environmental health officers, care workers, public health nurses and other health staff, IMPACT said this evening (Tuesday).
New Government proposals, which envisage no cuts in leave for the great majority of public servants, will mean that no existing public servant gets more than 32 days leave from next year. The cap, which will fall to 30 days for new entrants, would come into effect in 2012.
Social care staff, who work with vulnerable children in residential and community settings, should be exempt from the Government’s public service recruitment embargo, according to IMPACT trade union. The union says that, with over 6,000 children in care in Ireland, managers are forced to hire expensive agency staff to maintain child protection and foster care services because they are not allowed to replace professionals who leave.
IMPACT national secretary LOUISE O’DONNELL says the HSE West management tender is an underhand attempt to bypass the public service pay cap while adding an expensive new layer of management bureaucracy in our health services.
When cynicism becomes the norm and satorial remarks commonplace you know there is a problem unfolding before your eyes. Everywhere I meet health care workers from all sectors in hospitals, primary care and voluntary bodies across the whole of Ireland and across all the professions I see signs of serious stress and sometimes outright burn out.
Changes to the structure of child and family protection services in the HSE, the implementation of the Children First guidelines and the emerging challenges as the HSE prepares to separate child protection functions mean social workers and child care staff face challenging times in the coming months.
IMPACT trade union has today (Monday) written to health minister James Reilly to seek clarification of the Government’s recruitment policy for child protection staff and other essential front-line professionals.
IMPACT has welcomed new national guidelines to protect children against abuse and neglect. The union represents social workers, social care workers, family protection and welfare staff, and other workers who regularly provide services to children.
An independent adjudication report on the first ‘essential’ staff redeployments under the Croke Park agreement could help establish standards for handling similar situations in other parts of the public service. It also made recommendations for handling future appeals against compulsory redeployment.
The Government is reviewing its plans to charge social workers and social care workers €380 a year, or €175 a year for 2010 and 2011 graduates, after IMPACT raised the issue with health minister James Reilly.
Twelve early education centres across Dublin ran a unique campaign during the general election urging politicians to ‘listen – but make no empty promises’. Management and staff at the centres, who are IMPACT members, decided to run the campaign following a series of budget cuts which has put the centres under increased pressure over the last 18 months.
IMPACT is urging members to inform their local IMPACT branch of any local management proposals for reorganisation and redistribution of work following the exit of staff under the health service voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes.