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Nurses call off A&E strike amid fresh proposals

Published 15/12/2015

Liam Doran, general secretary of the Irish Nurses' and Midwives' Organisation
Liam Doran, general secretary of the Irish Nurses' and Midwives' Organisation

Nurses have called off planned strikes in emergency departments over the overcrowding crisis.

In an 11th-hour deferral, the Irish Nurses' and Midwives' Organisation (Inmo) said it had been given new proposals from health chiefs to ease the pressure in A&E units.

Seven hospitals were due to be hit by a series of two-hour rolling walkouts.

Inmo general secretary Liam Doran said nurses who were asked to strike would have the final say.

"The Inmo's consistent objective, throughout this whole campaign, has been to ensure emergency departments are as safe as possible for patients and staff," he said.

"Our members will now be fully briefed on what has emerged and they will decide whether they are capable of improving the current environment experienced, by both patients and staff, every day."

Inmo received proposals in last-ditch talks at the Workplace Relations Commission. Nurses will be given two to three weeks to consider them before voting a second time on what action to take.

They include earlier activation of the national escalation policy which is used to stop trolley waits reaching crisis levels. Also, a new minimum safe staffing level based on the number of patients being treated, a 1,500 euro payment for new staff who complete one year, and special staff dedicated to care for patients on trolleys.

The proposals suggest A&Es be designated specific workplaces to ensure higher standards for staff.

Inmo said the threat of other strikes on January 12 and 26 remain place while the offer is being considered.

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