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130 Kerry psychiatric nurses began industrial action at 8 o’clock this morning.


The nurses who are members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association are involved in a national dispute with the HSE over the retention and recruitment of nurses to the mental health service.


PNA Psychiatric Nurses Association


Around 600 nursing posts are currently vacant in the service.


This morning PNA members are beginning the first phase of industrial action which includes not answering phones, opening or closing buildings, not collecting charts or bringing bloods to labs.


The industrial action will only affect HSE facilities.


Both the HSE and PNA have been engaged in discussions to resolve the matter at the Labour Court.


In a statement, the HSE said it regrets the current industrial action being taken by the PNA and SIPTU.


With patient safety a core priority it says there will be minimal impact on services as a result of the action.


The HSE says it is engaging with union representatives at a local level to monitor the level of impact and address any issues that may arise and says it remains available for ongoing engagement with a view to finding a viable solution.