Assaults on hospital staff in Louth worrying – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his concern at the number of assaults on HSE staff in the RCSI group which covers Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Teachta Adams said:

“According to a Parliamentary response to my colleague Teachta Louise O’Reilly there have been 39 assaults on HSE staff in RCSI Hospital Group in the first five and a half months of this year.

Most of these assaults have been on nurses and midwifes. The statistics of assaults for all of the hospital groups revealed that 249 of the 279 who were assaulted were nurses and midwifes.

This is an alarming figure. More needs to be done to ensure the safety of staff”.

Gerry Adams added:

“Nurses and midwifes are central to the delivery of our public health services. It is unacceptable that they should face such high levels of threat and assault.


“The HSE, and the Minister for Health, need to increase measures to reduce the number of assaults on our front line HSE staff.


“One measure that could be introduced quickly would be to employ more security staff.


“Workers in Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda do an amazing job in caring for the health needs of patients. They should be able to work in an environment free from threat or physical assault.”

Louth hospitals spent over €13 million on agency staff last year

Sinn Fein Louth TD Gerry Adams has accused the government and the HSE of wasting huge sums of public money on the use of temporary agency staff in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and Louth County Hospital.  

Instead of tackling the very real issue of recruitment and retention of staff the government and HSE last year spent €13,688,000 of agency staff between the two Louth Hospitals.

Teachta Adams said:

“In the last seven years the government has paid out over one and a half billion euros on agency staffing in our hospitals and community services.

“Last year the HSE spent €293 million or almost €1 million a day on costly agency and locum doctors, nurses, and other staff in order to fill posts left vacant due to the recruitment and retention crisis.

“The figures for the two Louth hospitals make depressing reading. In 2017 Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda spent twelve and a half million euro on agency staff, including almost 6 million on doctors and dental agency staff and almost two and a half million on nursing staff.
Louth County Hospital last year spent just over one million euro on agency staff, including 135,000 on doctors and dental staff and over half a million on nursing staff.

“This over dependence on the use of costly and more expensive agency staff is a direct result of the failure of the government to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis that has escalated under its watch. Permanent staff properly employed can help bring stability to a health service in crisis. The overreliance on agency staff means that there is perpetual uncertainty in the provision of essential health services.

“Health service staff and their unions have consistently reported working conditions, facilities, supports, training opportunities and pay as the cause of the recruitment and retention crisis, and until these issues are addressed the crisis will continue and these staggering sums of money will be wasted on agency staff at Our Lady of Lourdes and Louth County Hospital.”


SF Councillors Stand with Irish Life Staff

Cllrs Ó Murchú & Campbell with staff from Irish Life

Dundalk councillors Ruairi O Murchu and Anne Campbell have given their support to the striking workers at Irish Life.

A majority of the 180-strong Dundalk workforce at the country’s largest pension provider took part in the one-day stoppage, along with their colleagues in the Irish Life centre in Dublin, in protest at plans by the multi-million euro firm to take employees out of the defined benefit pension scheme and put them into the defined contribution one instead.

The Sinn Fein councillors spent time with the striking workers, who are members of the Unite union, hearing how the proposed changes will affect the employees in Dundalk, some of whom have been with the company since it first opened here nearly 17 years ago.

In a joint statement, Cllrs. O Murchu and Campbell said: ‘We went to the Irish Life picket line today to support the Dundalk workers of the company who are facing a situation where they believe they could lose 30% of their pension entitlements.

‘It was clear to see that the strike was being well-supported by the local community, judging by the sounding of car horns and waves from those driving by on the Inner Relief Road.

‘We spoke to a number of the workers, some of whom joined the company after 2007 and were put into the defined contribution scheme, and they were very supportive of their colleagues who face losing their defined benefit pension.

‘Some of them told us that the defined benefit pension promise was one of the reasons they had remained at the company for so long.

‘Sinn Fein stands with the Irish Life workers and we call on the company, which made around €200 million profit last year and which is, ironically, Ireland’s biggest pension provider, to engage with the Dundalk and Dublin workers immediately in a bid to come to a properly-negotiated and fair settlement’.


Adams welcomes efforts to resolve dispute at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

DSC_3254_6510Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed the “fresh efforts to resolve the dispute at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital over concerns around staff shortages at the Drogheda hospital.”

Gerry Adams TD said: “I want to extend solidarity to the staff in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital. The nurses and midwives do a remarkable job in difficult conditions.

Today SIPTU Nursing representatives will re-engage with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in an effort to resolve the long-running dispute concerning nursing staff shortages in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. In May it emerged that there were 104 vacant whole-time equivalent posts in that hospital.

Some progress has already been made in discussions with management but SIPTU and those they represent still have concerns about staff levels.

There is a particular need to reach agreement on an emergency plan to deal with staff shortages which takes account of the clinical and safety risks.”

Concluding Teachta Adams said:

“The difficulties in Our Lady of Lourdes are replicated in hospitals across the state. Currently the health system is short 3,600 nurses and midwives that are needed to maintain the sector.

This chaos will not be resolved by Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil’s ill-considered two-tier approach to health. Or by the recruitment pause-embargo.”

Adams backs emergency call staff

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams TD has urged BT/Conduit Global to “resolve the ongoing industrial dispute at their 999 centres by accepting the need to pay workers a living wage standard.”

Teachta Adams said:

“On Thursday April 7th staff at the 999 emergency call centre in Navan took part in a 12-hour strike. This strike and the industrial action involving workers at all three call centres in Dublin, Navan and Donegal is clearly an issue of concern for the people of Louth.

These 999 emergency call centres provide an essential service and is the first point of contact for people in the event of a life threatening emergency.

The 60 staff in the three centres deserve to be paid a living wage.

Currently there is a 50 cent an hour gap in pay which BT/Conduit Global should move to close. The employers should also recognise the right of the workers to be represented by their Union.”