Psychiatric Services Will Still Suffer Despite Talks

MENTAL health services will continue to suffer severe disruption until Wednesday despite a breakthrough in talks on the psychiatric nurses’ dispute.

The nurses will continue their overtime ban today and tomorrow while negotiations, aimed at sealing a new deal on a compensation scheme for injuries suffered at work, are finalised.

It comes as Dublin psychiatrist Dr Siobhan Barry warned that patients in those services who are badly affected by the dispute are becoming increasingly distressed.

“Confidence in the service is increasingly in jeopardy, and little grounds for hope of improvement are visible,” she said.

The breakthrough at the Labour Relations Commission over the weekend averted an escalation of the dispute due to begin today.

Des Kavanagh of the Psychiatric Nurses Association said they have now completed the first part of the process to extend the original terms of the compensation scheme for nurses injured while on duty.

Louise O’ Reilly of SIPTU said both parties will report back to the LRC on Wednesday and the union’s national executive will then decide if the proposals can be recommended before a ballot.