Naughten: engage with nursing groups

The Government must engage with nurses’ organisations in order to avoid major industrial unrest and disruption to patients, according to Deputy Denis Naughten. ‘I met recently with representatives from both the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) in Roscommon and pointed out that Fine Gael recognises the industrial relations issues which nurses have with both pay conditions and work practices. ‘Fine Gael feels strongly that these issues must be resolved and that, in particular, work practices will be a key element in the changing role of nurses which, for example, is going to see nurses prescribing and nurses deputising work to care assistants. ‘The changing role and responsibility of nurses in all sectors of our health service must be recognised and, on that basis, Fine Gael believes that the Government should engage with the INO and the PNA and other social partners.  This is the best way to ensure fair conditions apply in the health service and avail of opportunities to improve patient care and efficient delivery of services. This would also avoid a potentially damaging dispute in our already challenged health service system.’