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€30K paid to transfer of tasks from NCHDs to nurses facilitator

A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that payments to Mr Sean McHugh “in respect of his work on the two transfer of task processes that he has and continues to facilitate” amounted to €16,320 (acute hospitals) and €8,160 (social care/intellectual disability). VAT payment came to an additional €5,630.

The final report of the National Implementation and Verification Group (NIVG), chaired by Mr McHugh, concluded that “in the main, the tasks have transferred” in acute hospitals.

The tasks are intravenous (IV) cannulation; phlebotomy previously carried out by NCHDs outside of normal hours; first-dose IV drug administration; and nurse-led delegated discharge.

The Group noted that progress was affected in some areas by staffing levels, turnover and inconsistent access to training. However, it considers that the revised practices have commenced and “will become embedded across the system over time”.

Dr John Duddy, IMO NCHD Committee member, told MI: “I think probably the [NIVG final] report is accurate based on the letter of the agreement where hospitals have been shown to have plans in place to implement the transfer of tasks, but actually seeing that implemented on the ground has been a much slower process.”

Aside from training and staffing issues, Dr Duddy indicated that a cultural shift was required in nursing on this issue.

However, outgoing Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) General Secretary Mr Liam Doran disagreed.

“The agreement is quite explicit. We will take on the four tasks when the nursing resource is being presented and training has been done.”

A premium payment was restored to nurses based on verification of the agreement.

See feature on page 14

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