Flight of the local nurses: 200 consider quitting HSE

HEALTH services in the Mid-West could face an exodus of nursing staff in the new year with 200 expressing interest in a HSE exit scheme.

HEALTH services in the Mid-West could face an exodus of nursing staff in the new year with 200 expressing interest in a HSE exit scheme.

With the moratorium on recruitment likely to remain in force through 2012, SIPTU nursing representative Jim McGrath said the scheme “could have a devastating impact on front-line health services if these people are not replaced”.

Mr McGrath expressed particular concern about nurses who are likely to retire early from posts in the Limerick Mental Health Services, where around 16 wish to go, and in public elderly care facilities.

The exit scheme - for which the HSE sought expressions of interest by the end of November - would allow medical and administrative staff to retire on lump sums and pensions based on their salaries prior to wage cuts imposed on the public sector two years ago.