The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has secured 90 nursing and midwifery posts in the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar following negotiations with local management.
The INMO held a lunchtime protest on January 27 to highlight continued overcrowding and poor staffing levels at the hospital, when the numbers of patients on trolley were at record levels. Subsequently members voted 92 per cent in favour of a work to rule.
The initiatives agreed with management yesterday (Wednesday ) include additional funding for 39 posts which are in the process of being filled; 10 staff nurses to be recruited for the emergency department; 26 staff midwives to be recruited; and 15 staff nurses to be recruited for general ward areas. In addition, 2015 nursing graduates will be offered permanent posts at 100 per cent salary.
The hospital has also committed to a staffing ratio of 1:6 for admitted patients in the emergency department and ward areas.
Initial interviews for the posts are due to take place this Monday February 23. Management have agreed to review staffing arrangements, following a bedding-in period, in consultation with the INMO.
The INMO will now put these proposals to members with a recommendation for acceptance.
Speaking yesterday, INMO industrial relations officer, Derek Reilly said: “The INMO welcomes the commitment to recruit 90 nurses and midwives in the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar. This is a positive outcome for our members who have continued to struggle with unmanageable workloads on a daily basis due to persistent overcrowding and understaffing.
“We are now calling for these posts to be filled as an absolute priority in the interests of patient care and the nursing/midwifery staff striving to provide that care.”
Local TD Gabrielle McFadden welcomed the news, which she said was “long overdue”.
“The need for these nurses, comprising a range of specialities, is long overdue and I want to acknowledge the constructive discussions which have taken place between the HSE and the INMO. I am pleased that nurses at the coalface, who have said that staff resources must be provided to help alleviate the situation, have been listened to.”