Dáil Éireann - Volume 522 - 28 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Hospital Staff.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
137. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by the National Association for the Mentally Handicapped in Ireland about the decision of St. Ita's Hospital Portrane, County Dublin to confine applications for clinical nurse manager posts to registered psychiatric nurses, with the result that registered mental handicap nurses are excluded from applying, despite the fact that many of these posts are in the learning disability/mental handicap service; if he accepts the view that these two separate disciplines are both appropriate to mental health and mental handicap care; if he will ask St. Ita's to review its decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18600/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I have been advised by the Eastern Regional Health Authority that following protracted negotiations with unions regarding nursing staff at St. Ita's Hospital, agreement was reached recently on the permanent filling of a number of clinical nurse manager posts which had been filled on a long-term acting basis. This is a preliminary step in addressing a comprehensive list of issues with staff representatives regarding the learning disability services and mental health services provided at St. Ita's Hospital. The main objective of these discussions and negotiations is to establish formal agreement on the recognition of separate and distinct services based on client need.
In accordance with the agreement recently reached with the unions concerned, a current competition for the permanent filling of the clinical nurse manager posts is confined to the existing nursing staff at the hospital who have a registered psychiatric nurse qualification. This competition is unique and once-off. It is the management's intention that, in the future, the permanent filling of such posts will be by way of open competition.
The Northern Area Health Board works in close co-operation and consultation with the National Association for Mentally Handicapped in Ireland in relation to the provision and development of services for persons with a learning disability. The association is aware of the arrangements outlined above and the complexities of the issues involved. The agreement reached with the unions concerned will not have any detrimental effect upon the quality and delivery of services provided at St. Ita's Hospital, including services provided to persons with a learning disability.
Dáil Éireann 522 Written Answers. Hospital Staff.