Nurses To Discuss New HSE Offer In Maternity Hospital Row

There are signs of a breakthrough in the row over staffing levels at the new maternity hospital in Cork. The €75m facility was due to open last Saturday, but this had to be postponed when nurses and midwives refused to co-operate.

The nurses believe the number of trained midwives due to be employed at the new hospital is inadequate to ensure patient safety and falls well short of that recommended by independent experts. They have rejected a Labour Court recommendation urging them to accept the inclusion of trainee midwives in the overall staff figure.

Both sides have been in talks on the matter for the past week and the nursing unions are expected to meet later today to discuss the HSE’s proposals for resolving the dispute.

The HSE is hoping the nurses will agree to co-operate with the opening of the new hospital this weekend.