Saturday 22 October 2016

Nurses set for Dail protest over cuts to disability services

The INMO has launched a new campaign to highlight cuts to services over the past five years
The INMO has launched a new campaign to highlight cuts to services over the past five years

Nurses will protest outside the Dail over savage cuts to disability services.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has launched a new campaign to highlight cuts to services over the past five years and the "resulting negative impact upon the lives of those with an intellectual disability".

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said that, through its campaign for excellence, it wanted to shine a light on the situation that currently exists within intellectual disability services and to evoke a public debate on "this human rights issue".

"It appears some providers, with multiple layers of management are more interested in fiscal or financial targets than the provision of quality," Mr Doran said.

"These same providers are also seeking to de-professionalise the provision of services and are attempting to dilute the vital role of the registered nurse in intellectual disability (RNID)."

Nurses working in the sector have undergone a four-year honours degree programme, which is unique, and they are specialists in the area of intellectual disability.

INMO members will stage a protest outside the Dail at lunchtime on Tuesday, September 22 to highlight the cuts.

It is calling on members of the public to support the protest at 1pm.

The INMO said that its campaign for excellence aims to ensure that the number, qualifications, and skill mix of staff is appropriate to meet the needs of service users ensuring their integration into the community.

Ailish Byrne, the INMO RNID section chairperson, referenced cuts in respite services - whereby people would travel from their home for respite care, and they would stay for a night or up to a week in a family-support centre.

Ms Byrne said it is a service that is much valued by families and the clients.


Separately, the Irish Medical Organisation has warned that there is a manpower crisis in our health services.

A new OECD report confirmed that one-in-five Irish emigrants is leaving from the health and social work sectors.

Dr Ray Walley, president of the IMO, said that the figures reflected the level of crisis now evident across the Irish health services.

"These are shocking figures, which confirm the extent of the manpower crisis in our health services. People are literally being driven to emigrate from this country because of the chaos and crisis in the health services," Dr Walley warned.

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