Health news 2011


Limerick regional ‘raid’ on primary care budgets

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.


Time running out for disability staff

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.


Consultations planned on overtime and premium payments

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.


Spending and employment cuts a huge challenge

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.


Disability staff face redundancy as funding is cut

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.


HSE U-turn on travel expenses after IMPACT intervention

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.


IMPACT welcomes reversal of HSE decision to defer transport payments

IMPACT trade union this evening (Thursday) welcomed the reversal of the HSE’s decision to defer the reimbursement of transport costs incurred by its staff.


IMPACT calls on health minister to reverse HSE decision to delay travel payments

IMPACT official Louise O’Donnell has called on health minister James Reilly to instruct HSE management to reverse its decision to delay the payment of travel costs already incurred by HSE staff.


Rural and urban health services will suffer if HSE stops meeting transport costs

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).


Public service leave to be capped at 32 days

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.


Residential childcare staff should be exempt from public service recruitment embargo

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 to respond if private managers imposed

IMPACT has said it will advise members how to respond if the HSE proceeds with its proposal to impose a team of private sector managers in the Limerick hospital group.


HSE West management tender: More expensive bureaucracy?

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.


IMPACT responds to sick leave criticism

IMPACT members in the HSE West region were criticised last month as figures showed higher than average sick leave levels among staff, particularly in Ennis and Limerick hospitals.


A Line in the Sand

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.


Social workers prepare for fresh challenges

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.


Limerick medical records staff threaten strike over safety conditions

Clerical and admin staff in the medical records department at Mid-West regional hospital, Dooradoyle, this week voted unanimously in favour of strike action over unsafe working conditions.


IMPACT demands clarification of health recruitment policy

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 welcomes new child protection guidelines

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.


PRCS redeployment adjudication sets new standards

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.


Government reviewing plans for social work statutory registration fees

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.


Early education centres run ‘no empty promises’ election campaign

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.


1,900 leave under health exit schemes

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.