Staff concerns over cut in psychiatric services

Staff at a Cork psychiatric hospital are to hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their response to a cut to services.

A delegation from Siptu and the Psychiatric Nurses Association yesterday met with Minister for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch at her Cork office to outline their concerns following the reconfiguration of wards at St Stephen’s Hospital in Glanmire.

Staff at the hospital held a protest outside its grounds on Wednesday, and claim that the HSE has reneged on an agreement to keep staff in the locality following the reconfiguration of services.

Nursing representatives called on the minister to intervene and to rubber stamp a proposal that would see staff redeployed to crisis intervention and suicide prevention programmes in the community.

A spokesperson said that the group outlined their concerns to the minister, and that staff will meet on Tuesday to discuss their next course of action.

“I know that all parties concerned have the interest of the patients at heart and I hope this matter will be resolved through the normal industrial relations procedures,” Ms Lynch said after the meeting yesterday..

A HSE spokesperson said management are engaging with staff representative bodies on the matter.

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