Financial security and peace of mind in uncertain times
These are challenging times, as our members - who go above and beyond every day on the frontline of this crisis - know only too well. Covid-19 has us all feeling vulnerable. From our health to our finances, there’s so much uncertainty right now.
Following engagement between the Health Sector Unions and the HSE today (April 21st), the following has been clarified.
1) The Wearing of Masks. The HSE and Occupational Health Department have confirmed that all health care workers should now wear masks while caring for patients when they are within a 2 meter distance. Masks should be worn in any scenario where care is being provided and social distancing of 2 metres cannot be adhered to. This includes all community and residential settings. Further instruction on this will be issued by the HSE in the coming days.
2) Priority Testing. It has also been confirmed that the priority testing, currently underway in the Nursing Home sector, will also incorporate residential settings within the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Services. This priority testing will encompass all residents and staff within these settings.
Please find below information regarding the current Covid 19 emergency. We wish to advise all our members that we are engaging with the HSE on a continuous basis and that all information is subject to change as the situation progresses.
We advise all members to make themselves aware of this information and advise. Each heading includes links to the current information available in relation to each topic.
COVID-19 HSE Clinical Guidance and Evidence website
A COVID-19 HSE Clinical Guidance and Evidence repository is now available. Click here to access This site provides a repository of clinical guidance and latest research evidence to equip the clinical community in Ireland to respond to Covid-19. The site contains:
HSE Interim Clinical Guidance to provide consistent advice to the clinical community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is based on best available knowledge at the time of completion, written by clinical subject matter experts (SMEs) working with the HSE. These SMEs have both expertise and experience of treating patients for the specific health conditions covered by the guidance.
Research evidence summaries prepared by the HSE National Library Evidence team and other stakeholders
Facility to request additional published Covid19 evidence in relation to specific clinical questions.
Links to point of care tools and educational resources
The content of the site is not meant to replace clinical judgment or specialist consultation, but rather strengthen clinical management of patients and provide up-to-date and relevant guidance. The guidance is iterative in nature and will be updated as the situation changes.
Wednesday 19th February : The Psychiatric Nurses’ Association (PNA) said today’s Mental Health Commission (MHC) Report on access to acute public mental health beds for adults paints a stark and worrying picture of the impact that the lack of investment, and the failure of successive governments to implement the Vision for Change strategy, is having on our mental health services.
Peter Hughes , General Secretary of the PNA, said the MHC Report confirms many of the findings of the PNA’s own research on the lack of implementation of the Vision for Change strategy, 14 years after it was introduced as the pathway to new beginning for our mental health services.
Thursday 13 th February : The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today that real and substantial actions to address the crisis in mental health services must be a central part of any Programme for Government to be negotiated in the formation of the next government.
Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the PNA, said that during the election campaign all of the political parties had made much of their commitments to investment in mental health services in order to address the crisis that has left services struggling to meet demand at every level.
Monday, 3rd February: The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today the next government must show genuine commitment to investing in mental health services if the current crisis is to be addressed and the growing demand for services at every level is to be met.
Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the PNA, said with all of the main political parties having now issued their Election Manifestos which acknowledge mental health services as one of the priorities for increased investment within our health services, these election manifesto promises must be followed up with actions in the lifetime of the next government.
Friday 10th January 2020 - The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) ambulance personnel branch, NASRA,said today (Friday) that the current crisis in Emergency Departments with record numbers of patients waiting on trolleys, is putting the national ambulance service (NAS) under enormous pressure, and is exposing the levels of understaffing and underinvestment in the service throughout the country.
NASRA Branch Secretary, Tony Gregg said the NAS was already struggling to cope with the existing demands on it, including low morale among ambulance personnel. However, the unfolding crisis in ED departments risks pushing the service and ambulance service personnel beyond breaking point.
Mr. Gregg said: “The National Ambulance Service is running on empty with ambulances held back at ED departments and consistently missing response time targets, ambulances being deployed on very long journeys across the country and crews being forced to work beyond rostered shifts, and work without the required rest and meal breaks.”
Friday, November 8 th 2019 : Psychiatric nurses in Waterford, members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, (PNA) , today (Friday, 8 th Nov.) protested at the University Hospital Waterford at the ongoing overcrowding at the hospital's Acute Psychiatry Unit.
Today's protest follows on last week's unprecedented overcrowding at the Unit which is the latest example of the crisis in mental health services in Waterford brought about through a combination of overcrowding, understaffing and a complete lack of development of Community and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
PNA Industrial Relations Officer, Michael Hayes said today's protest was necessary to highlight the impact that overcrowding and under -resourcing of mental health services in Waterford is having on the delivery of care to vulnerable services users.
Wednesday 30th October: The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has today (Wednesday) said that overcrowding in the Waterford mental health services has reached unprecedented levels and has placed staff working in the services under intolerable pressure.
The 44-bed acute Psychiatry Unit at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) has an additional 10 patients admitted on the ward. Ten beds assigned to Waterford Mental Health Services at the private St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in Dublin are now full and a further three Waterford patients have had to be transferred to Kilkenny which is now also fully occupied.
PNA Industrial Relations Officer, Michael Hayes said the overcrowding in the Waterford services has now reached unprecedented levels despite repeated warnings from the PNA in recent months that the situation in the services was deteriorating.
As you are aware part of the pay commission recommendation is that the eligibility for Senior Staff Nurse is reduced from 20 to 17 years.
This will take effect from 1st November 2019. It is imperative that members who have 17 years plus staff nurse experience apply to their Director of Nursing for Senior Staff Nurse before 1st November 2019 in order to have your application submitted prior to the implementation date.
Please bring this to the attention of any member who meets the criteria of 17+ years experience