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Dispute

Talks on Louth-Meath Hospital Group dispute resume

The dispute centres on unions’ concerns about proposed cuts at the hospital group.

THE LABOUR RELATIONS Commission has continued to oversee talks on proposed cuts within the Louth/Meath Hospital group.

The Louth/Meath Hospital group consists of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, Our Lady’s Hospital Navan and the Louth County Hospital.

Talks at the Labour Relations Commission resumed today between unions representing staff in the Louth/Meath health service group and HSE North East management. They were adjourned over the weekend.

Staffing

The HSE has confirmed that staffing requirements prior to 1 September 2012 will be maintained for certain critical areas for a period of two weeks to facilitate engagement between the two parties. This will include supplementary staff engaged via agencies and overtime.

The parties commenced extensive negotiations today at 10am in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said unions “continue to have grave concerns at the clinical risks associated with management’s cost containment plan”. 

Cuts

The dispute is in regard to management plans to introduce cuts within the hospital group that the INMO says would see the elimination of 400 frontline posts and curtailment of hospital services including the closure of 50 medical beds, critical care beds and theatres.

INMO Industrial Relations Officer Tony Fitzpatrick said that nurses and midwives working within the Louth/Meath Hospital group are deeply concerned that these cuts, if introduced, will “put patients lives at risk”.

The Trade Union Group wrote to the Labour Relations Commission as Unions were concerned about the effect that the proposals could have on services, patients and members.

Read: Outrage at staff cuts and bed closures across Louth and Meath hospitals>

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