Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says the passing of his party’s motion on nurses pay and conditions should act as a wake-up call for the government that it act swiftly to avert a series of planned strikes.

Deputy Scanlon said, “This motion called on the government to engage with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Psychiatric Nurses Association to address their concerns.

“The INMO ballot was not just about wage increases; it also focused on patient safety.  There is a serious recruitment and retention crisis in our health system that this government has failed to get to grips with.  This is having a direct impact on services.

“There was a 40 per cent increase in vacancies in psychiatric nursing positions from November 2017 to September 2018; this clearly illustrates the problem which exists. The nurses in situ are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the staffing shortages on a daily basis and they are calling for greater supports.

“Nursing is an increasingly complex role, especially given an ageing population with multiple co-morbidities and complex care needs as well as new technologies that are constantly being developed to keep people living longer, healthier lives.  However, morale among nurses is at an all-time low.

“The passing of this motion is proof that the majority of the Dáil supports our nurses and midwives.  I am calling on the government to engage meaningfully with them to address their concerns”.