Psych nurses strike will have 'significant impact' on vulnerable patients, warns HSE

Psych nurses strike will have 'significant impact' on vulnerable patients, warns HSE

Industrial action by psychiatric nurses will have “a very significant impact” on vulnerable patients across the country, the HSE has warned.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association said members would not work beyond their contracted hours from Wednesday evening.

The resumption of the trade union's overtime ban follows the collapse of talks on Monday at the Workplace Relations Commission on proposals to resolve the recruitment and retention crisis in mental health services.

The health authority said the resumption of the overtime ban that would start on a rolling basis would have a very significant impact on vulnerable patients.

“The HSE is very concerned about the impact the action will have on patients in many 24/7 psychiatric facilities nationwide,” the health authority stated.

It also warned that mental health day services would be affected in many areas.

Local crisis management teams in community health care organisation were reviewing the situation on a service by service basis.

The HSE said contingency measures would be taken to deal with the effects of the action.

The health authority said it was glad that child and adolescent mental health services would not be affected by the dispute.

“The HSE remains available for further talks to resolve this dispute and would encourage the PNA, in everyone's' interest, to return to negotiations as soon as possible," it stated.

Psych nurses strike will have 'significant impact' on vulnerable patients, warns HSE

The PNA expects that psychiatric services will find it very difficult to cope and that things could become very chaotic the longer the industrial action continued.

PNA general secretary Peter Hughes said it was “very disappointing” that psychiatric nurses found themselves again having to take action.

Fiann Fáil spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne urged Health Minister Simon Harris to engage with his officials and the PNA to find a resolution to the dispute.

“The current impasse must be addressed,” said Mr Browne.

Mental health services experienced significant difficulties during an overtime ban by nurses earlier this month.

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