05/02/2021 Comments are off SIPTU Health

Important vaccination update for SIPTU members.

Updated: 18:30

An important update was issued by the HSE this evening to confirm the next stage of the roll out of the vaccination programme.

A revised, more detailed sequencing document re priority HCW groups is available to read here

The sequencing document confirms priority is based on exposure and/or risk and not by grade or title.

More here…

SIPTU representatives met this week with the HSE to discuss the current standing of the vaccination programme and the roll out of vaccines to the healthcare workforce. 

The following update was received:

  • SIPTU representatives understand that 129,156 vaccines have been distributed to date through the hospital groups, this includes those distributed through the National Ambulance Service and the temporary clinics established for GPs. 
  • We understand a further 79,132 vaccines have been distributed through the Long-Term Residential Care settings.
  • We have been advised dose two is being rolled out this week with 25,000 doses for people in Long-Term Residential Care settings with a further 22,000 doses for staff.
  • SIPTU representatives raised concerns at the reported failure of the HSE to administer vaccines as per their own priority list issued on Tuesday 12th January 2021 and received an assurance the sequencing document for prioritising healthcare workers would be strictly adhered to upon the resumption of first dose vaccinations in the coming days. 
  • We repeated our request for a report on the vaccinations issued to date and compliance with the HSE sequencing document dated Tuesday 12th January 2021. 
  • SIPTU representatives were informed the expected supply of Astra-Zeneca vaccine will be applied to administer the first dose vaccine to the priority categories of frontline healthcare workforce awaiting same with effect from next week.  
  • The HSE has confirmed the delivery is expected this weekend and stated it will “greatly improve” the availability of the vaccine to the priority healthcare workforce. 
  • SIPTU understands approximately 20,000 doses are expected next week and further increases in delivery quantum are expected of Astra-Zeneca vaccine over the following weeks in February. 
  • The HSE has confirmed it expects the “vast bulk” of the priority healthcare workforce categories will receive their first dose vaccine by the end of February.
  • We are awaiting further clarity on the dose interval for the next four weeks. 
  • The HSE has confirmed it will concentrate on completing first dose vaccination of the priority healthcare workforce categories starting from next week. SIPTU has been advised the HSE plan for next week includes approx. 8,000 vaccines for mental health and intellectual disability services. 
  • The HSE has also confirmed it is completing work on the commissioning of a Portal for registration for the vaccine. It is expected to be completed by the resumption of the first dose vaccines and it will have built-in priority allocation software which will allocate appointments as per the national sequencing document. 
  • SIPTU representatives are awaiting further information on the preparation for a Workforce Plan for the Community Vaccination Teams. 

If members have any queries on the roll out of the vaccination programme please contact the union by emailing COVID19info@siptuhealth.ie

05/02/2021 Comments are off SIPTU Health

SIPTU seeks emergency meeting with health minister over clinical placements for student radiographers

SIPTU representatives have today (Friday, 5th February) written to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, seeking an emergency meeting in order to address serious concerns and challenges raised by student radiographers on clinical placement during the pandemic. 

SIPTU Industrial Organiser, John McCamley, said: “The present situation is completely unsustainable. It is scandalous that up to 400 student radiographers are making an essential contribution on the frontline and are not being recognised for their work. The reality is that clinical placements involve direct patient care and assisting qualified radiographers in X-ray departments and theatres in hospitals. At present, student radiographers are being asked to put themselves at great risk for no reward.

“Student radiographers can also be deployed to any hospital across the country. This has resulted in some students paying for additional accommodation while on clinical placement with no option but to continue to pay rent for their regular accommodation close to the college.”

He added: “The pandemic has exacerbated these problems. Due to fears of cross-contamination, lockdowns and public health restrictions many students are unable to earn any income by working part-time, causing them further financial difficulties. Student radiographers with no choice but to self-isolate have to make up the time later in the year. They are not entitled to sick pay or any of the other protections enjoyed by directly employed staff even though they face many of the same challenges and risks as other frontline workers.”