Outpatient services continue

ALL SERVICES WILL be maintained in the outpatient departments of two hospitals in the north-east despite a 25 per cent reduction in staff, the HSE has stated.

ALL SERVICES WILL be maintained in the outpatient departments of two hospitals in the north-east despite a 25 per cent reduction in staff, the HSE has stated.

The outpatient operations at Monaghan and Cavan hospitals are “under review” after budget overruns last year. In a statement, HSE Dublin North East said the 25 per cent payroll cut is “required to achieve cost reductions”.

It insisted that “all clinic services” will be maintained despite the reduction in staff numbers.

However, the union representing nurses and midwives has said that the staff reduction will have a “devastating effect on patient services.” INMO spokesperson Derek Reilly said staff are “seriously concerned about the effect these cutbacks will have on patients and how safe patient care and safe practice will be maintained”.

The union, which met with hospital management last week, also claims that the cutbacks are in breach of the Croke Park agreement. HSE Dublin North East said it is facing a “challenging year” in 2012 after running over budget in 2011.