Around 6,000 members of the Psychiatric Nurses' Association (PNA) began an overtime ban today over a dispute with the HSE amid fears that mental health services across Cork and Ireland will be impacted.
The PNA has blamed the escalation on the HSE, claiming the action is in response to a lack of meaningful progress in talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) over recruitment and retention issues in mental health services.
Health Minister Simon Harris warned earlier this week that today's action would have a negative impact on the delivery of care for patients in mental health services.
In a statement released today, PNA general secretary Peter Hughes said the lack of effort made by the HSE to address their concerns means the blame lies with the health service.
“There is a huge reliance on agency and overtime and it will curtail services, and it will leave some services that staff will not be able to go on duty because they will not have sufficient staff to safely take over units,” he added.
“It's going to have an impact but the responsibility lies solely with the HSE who have made very, very little effort to address this problem,” said Mr Hughes.