In light of the recent disruption caused by Storm Ophelia, health service employees who were unable to attend their place of work on Monday 16th October for safety reasons and those who were required to leave their work premises early will be paid for the hours which they were scheduled to work.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Thursday 18 th Oct. ) called for an urgent and coherent response from the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and the HSE to address the deficiencies in the mental health services available to children and adolescents throughout the country identified in the Report of the Seanad Public Consultation Committee on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) published on Wednesday.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said : ‘This important Report makes for disturbing reading, but its findings will come as no surprise to those who have been identifying the inadequacy, and in some parts of the country the complete absence, of CAMHS services which is impacting hugely on young people, their families and the wider community.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thursday 12 th October) that the situation where two adults admitted to the Adult Mental Health Unit (AMHU) at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Tuesday (Oct. 10 th ) night had to spend the night on chairs is totally unacceptable and highlights once again the lack of adequate community mental health services in the South East.
PNA, General Secretary, Peter Hughes said accommodating patients on chairs because of the lack of beds is intolerable for patients and their families and upsetting for staff.
‘Following an incident in May when a child spent a night on a chair at the Waterford AMHU, PNA got a number of assurances from management that these situations would not be repeated. However, on Tuesday two adults had to spend the night on chairs as there were no beds to admit them to. Once again the appalling lack of investment in community mental health services is having consequences for both staff and service users at this unit which has been over capacity on nearly 20 occasions since January. Our message to management is clear - ‘This has got to stop'.'
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has today (Monday 18 th September) called on the HSE to take a number of specific follow up actions in the wake of the publication two weeks ago of a damning Review of Roscommon Mental Health Services. The PNA said its' members have raised a number of serious concerns at meetings last week to consider the Review.
PNA General Secretary has now written to the HSE setting out these concerns and demanding a number of follow up actions by the HSE.
Mr Hughes said PNA has absolutely no confidence in the Implementation Group established to give effect to the Review's recommendations.
‘How can our members have confidence in an Implementation Group that includes some of the Senior Managers referenced in the Review when the report clearly states of the same Senior Managers that “leadership at a number of levels appeared to be ineffective.” , and finds they did not implement recommendations by the Mental Health Commission. In light of these findings it is inconceivable that the same managers would be part of the Implementation Group'.
PNA is now demanding that the proposed Implementation Group is:
Closing date for Abstract submission is 31th October 2017
HORATIO in collaboration with FPS is proud to announce its forthcoming Congress. The theme of this event encompasses all those things that make Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing special.
To work in a mental health setting is both an interesting and important issue. Psychiatric and mental health nurses care for the mental health of the population in Europe and all around the world. The topic "Safe Settings" of FPS and Horatio Conference is a multidimensional approach. Human beings are complex. Scarcely a living creature is as vulnerable as human beings during the first years of life. For our growth, it is important to experience safety in our living environment. Many people search in their life for safety in an unforgiving environment/setting.
Horatio invites you to join us either as a presenter or a delegate and meet with colleagues from around the world to share skills and expertise that may inspire us to develop safe settings in every environment.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Tuesday, 5th September) that the publication of the HSE Review of Roscommon Mental Health Services was a shocking indictment of management of the services and the extent to which these management failings had compromised the ability of nursing staff to deliver safe standards of care.
The PNA said today’s Review pointed clearly to an emphasis by management on budgets and cost containment over delivery of properly managed services and safe standards of care. It said the finding that budgets were consistently underspent by millions of euro over a number of years highlighted the extent to which the management in Roscommon failed to understand the need for investment in services.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) has today (Tuesday, 29th. August ) demanded that 12 staff nursing posts are filled immediately in Acute Mental Health Unit of St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny amid growing concerns that understaffing is impacting on the safety of staff and patients.
PNA Industrial Relations Officer, Michael Hayes said the challenges faced by staff in the unit to provide safe and professional care are intolerable and must be addressed urgently by the HSE.
'There are currently 18 patients in the unit with high levels of acuity in some cases, yet for the last two weeks the level of activity in the unit combined with ongoing understaffing has left staff there 'running on empty '. The unit is relying on agency staff and overtime,but this is unsustainable and is compromising the safety of the unit and the quality of care that can be provided there.'
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Monday 21 st August) totally rejected comments by the Minister for State with Responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly T.D. that trade unions are a hindrance to achieving change in the health services.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said that Deputy Daly's view that trade unions in the health sector are the cause of lack of reform and change in the health services is a total misrepresentation.
‘Minister Daly might want to consider the reasons for the abysmal lack of progress by the HSE and the Department of Health in the implementation of the Vision for Change strategy for the mental health services. The PNA has been pushing for the full implementation of this strategy since it was published by the government with a huge fanfare 11 years ago. Unfortunately, large parts of Vision for Change remain underfunded and unimplemented despite across the board support for it from the trade union movement. The Minister will have to look closer to home, at the HSE and his own department, for the real reasons for the lack of progress in the reform of our mental health services.'
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Monday 7th August) that new figures from the Health Service Executive on staffing in the mental health services confirm the lack of progress by the Government in the implementation of the Vision for Change strategy – the blueprint for the development of mental health services which was launched over ten years ago.
Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said the confirmation in PQ replies to Fianna Fail’s Deputy James Brown that there is still a shortfall in staffing of almost 2000 to meet the targets for service delivery as set out in Vision for Change highlight the shamefully inadequate progress in the implementation of what was to be the model for total reform of mental health services.
‘Despite commitment after commitment from various Ministers for Health and Ministers of State for Mental Health the full implementation of Vison for Change, particularly with regard to the recruitment of staff, remains as aspirational as it was at its high profile launch a decade ago. The HSE figures reveal that only 93 new staff were recruited this year despite soaring demand in all areas of the mental health services and the HSE’s own admission that 1,963 new posts have to be filled if the level of staffing required in Vision for Change is to be achieved.‘
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on the issue of the crisis in CAMHS services
Thank you for your invitation to address the Joint Committee on Children and Youth affairs. As General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, I would like to highlight my concerns in relation to the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The inadequacies and underinvestment in the current provision of CAMHS services is something that my union has consistently drawn attention to and I would hope that the interest by the Committee in this area will help in addressing the many gaps in CAMHS services that exist throughout the country.
The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thursday 25 th May) it was extremely disappointed and angry after talks with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to avert the closure from June 1 st of 11 of the 22 inpatient beds at the Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at Cherry Orchard Hospital, Ballyfermot , Dublin ended without agreement.
PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said PNA had put forward proposals to HSE to address the staffing shortage at Linn Dara, but these were rejected by management. Half of the 34 nursing posts in Linn Dara are currently vacant.
‘The HSE was able to tell us that there is a waiting list of 20 children for Linn Dara, but they were unable to consider realistic proposals to meet the staffing shortage and keep these vital beds open.
The IMO, INMO and PNA representing Doctors, Nurses, including Psychiatric Nurses, and Midwives, employed throughout our public health service, met today to consider the Public Sector Pay Commission Report, and, in particular, the issues highlighted by that Report in relation to the recruitment/retention of staff in the Health Sector.
The issues of recruitment and retention of medical and nursing staff, in our health services, must be addressed in the context of the forthcoming public sector pay negotiations.
The IMO, INMO and PNA are therefore calling on Government to ensure that there is sufficient flexibility within the talks, to deal with this problem, and to cease adopting a “head in the sand” approach to the manpower crisis within our hospitals, community and mental health services which have a significant negative impact on the delivery of care to patients across the country.
The three unions also endorsed, and support, the collective approach, of Public Service Unions, to seek restoration of pay and hours attacked in recent years.
Doctors, Nurses and Midwives, working in the public health service, have struggled through years of cutbacks to deliver the best care to patients in highly pressurised and under resourced working environments. The HSE is no longer an employer of choice for a growing number of doctors, nurses and midwives whose skills are actively sought by European and International Health Organisations. Such organisations, not only offer better terms and conditions but also provide an environment that allows them to do the job for which they have trained.
We simply cannot ignore the facts of the situation any longer which include: