The safety of patients at Letterkenny General Hospital, and hospitals around the country, could be compromised by the latest HSE plan.

The INMO (Irish Nurse and Midwives Association) issued a statement today expressing concern at the HSE’s latest plan, which focuses on delivering further cash savings of €80 million.

According to the INMO the plan focuses on changes of frontline services.

Changes include –

A further reduction in staffing

Reduction in the skill mix, particularly in services looking after the older person and the disabled i.e. reducing the number of professionals

Filling nurse vacancies, in the community, with newly graduated nurses – which the INMO described as ‘contrary to best practice which states that new graduate health professionals require peer support and mentorship, for a period, before working as lone workers in the community’

Reduction in the number of operational nurse managers in the care of the older person sector

Substitution of experienced/trained support staff, in other sectors, with new staff under the support staff intern programme

As a result of the latest plan the INMO have urgently sought meetings with the three Ministers in the Dept. of Health, a meeting with the Oireachtas Health Committee, a meeting with the Director of Patient Safety and Quality in the HSE, and meetings with various patient support groups.

Speaking today INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said:

“These proposals are, without doubt, totally driven by the demand for the health service to deliver further cash savings. The plans, which have not been subject to a patient safety audit or risk assessment, ignore completely the implications for standards of care for patients, and their safety, as money is the only issue being considered by management.

There is no question but that these measures will, following on from six years of successive frontline cuts, gravely compromise patient safety and the ability of nurses and midwives to deliver safe care through safe practice”.

Mr. Doran concluded: “Essentially these plans seek to save money by reducing the number of professionals, working in the frontline, and replacing them with inexperienced staff. This must be viewed as a fundamentally flawed approach which will only lower standards, reduce productivity and lower the outcomes for patients. The INMO will be calling upon the Ministers, and the HSE, to withdraw these plans immediately and ensure, regardless of financial pressures, that frontline services are not subject to any further cuts”.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.