SIPTU welcomes the establishment of Chief Health and Social Care Professional role in the Department of Health

SIPTU has welcomed news that the HSE has commenced an expressions of interest process to fill the newly created role of Chief Health and Social Care Professional in the Department of Health.

The news of the new role comes following a campaign by SIPTU for the role’s creation, so that there would be a focus on key issues faced by health and social care professionals (HSPCs) in the service.

The Chief HSCP Officer will report through the Assistant Secretary for Primary Care division. The Person will be initially based in the Strategic Workforce Planning Unit of the Department to support specialist policy development as a priority under the Sláintecare programme.
Some of the key functions of the Office will be to develop a Health and Social Care workforce planning strategy action plan; and to support the role of HSCPs to the maximum extent possible.

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John McCamley, said “Following engagement with relevant parties about this role over several years, we are welcoming the creation of the Chief Health and Social Care Professional. The input of health and social care professionals in the state funded health and social services is significant and requires specific policy input to support development of the professions in the context of Sláintecare.”

First meeting of National Radiation Therapist Review Group takes place

SIPTU have welcomed the first meeting of the National Radiation Therapist Review Group which took place today, December 1st.

This first meeting takes place at a crucial time for cancer treatment services. Radiation therapy is used in the treatment of around half of all cancer cases. This treatment is delivered by radiation therapists who, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, have the legal authority to carry out this role. SIPTU has continuously raised the crisis that exists in the recruitment and retention of radiation therapists; and the knock-on effect it is having in delayed treatment for patients. Currently there is approximately a 15% shortage of Radiation Therapists nationally.

Following the meeting Sector Organiser, John McCamley, said “The National Radiation Therapist Review Group will investigate and make recommendations on a range of matters which could alleviate the recruitment and retention crisis among radiation therapists. This will involve exploring areas around safe staffing, career progression, advanced practice, managerial structures and role development for the radiation therapist.”

It is hoped that the Review will contribute to the continued professionalisation of the service to the benefit of staff and patients.

SIPTU Representatives attend launch of Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill Mix in Emergency Department Care

SIPTU representatives have today (Thursday, June 2nd) attended the launch of the report on Phase II of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix – the policy for determining safe Nurse and Health Care Assistant staffing in Irish care settings. The report launched today specifically deals with safe staffing in adult Emergency Care settings.

Speaking after the launch John McCamley, SIPTU Sector Organiser for Nursing and Midwifery, said “SIPTU representatives have actively engaged with the rollout of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix to date and welcome the publication of the report that deals with Emergency Care. Our Nursing and HCA members will be keenly interested in ensuring it is rolled out in EDs across the country to the benefit of staff and patients.”

“The Union will continue to press for the rollout of the Framework for Safe Staffing and Skill Mix across all areas of the health service.”