Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne TD has called on both sides in the ongoing dispute over recruitment and retention to continue to engage to find a solution to the issues.

Deputy Browne was speaking ahead of a threatened overtime ban by members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, which has been planned for Thursday.

“This ban, if it goes ahead, will have a serious impact on the delivery of psychiatric services across the board. These are services, which are already under immense pressure, and which will ultimately have a negative impact on patients if the ban goes ahead”, said Deputy Browne.

“There is no doubt that people working in the health service are extremely disillusioned with the current system. We’ve already seen strikes by nurses, midwives and health support staff in the past few months. The frustration felt by the psychiatric nurses is completely understandable and their concerns must be listened to.

“I am calling for both sides in this dispute to remain at the Workplace Relations Commission and to engage on the issues so that a solution can be found.

“Psychiatric nurses are raising valid concerns and it is unfair of the government to take them for granted. The work they carry out is essential and I am urging the union and the Department to continue engagement find a resolution which is in the best interests of nurses and patients alike”, concluded Deputy Browne.