NURSES at Limerick’s St John’s Hospital will start industrial action from tomorrow morning (Thursday November 23), citing “failed legal engagement” related to nursing workloads in the Limerick hospital.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO) say that the action will be in the form of a work to rule and will run from 8am tomorrow morning until further notice.
The nursing union says that the crux of the industrial action is the workload placed on nurses at the Limerick hospital, with 30 nursing vacancies yet to be filled.
INMO assistant director of industrial relations, Mary Fogarty, said: “INMO members will begin industrial action in St John’s Hospital from tomorrow morning following failed local engagement related to nursing workloads caused by persistent short staffing.”
“St John’s Hospital is an 89-bed hospital and there are over 30 nursing vacancies. The pressure this is placing on our members is exceptional and they have articulated very clearly to management that it is having a significant impact on the safety of patients attending the hospital and their own wellbeing in the workplace.”
The work to rule will see nursing staff only perform their core duties, and will not carry out routine clinical paperwork, attend meetings except in certain circumstances, pick up items from the hospital pharmacy, or move beds, except for infection prevention and control or medical assessment unit needs.
Mr Fogarty said that the industrial action is taking place to show the HSE and their employer the impact that understaffing issues are having on INMO members.
“The inability of management at St John’s Hospital to recognise the impact substantial nursing vacancies are having on our members and their failure to curtail services to safer limits to match the availability of nurses has compounded the dispute. ”
“INMO members want to make it clear to their employer and the HSE that they are not willing to deal with the consequences of allowing short-staffing to persist in their workplace and for it to deteriorate further because of the HSE recruitment freeze. INMO members will only carry out core nursing duties in the hospital at this time.”
“This is not a decision that INMO members in St John’s Hospital have taken lightly but, because of the staffing restriction, they cannot provide safe care therefore they are left with no option but to ensure the nursing care of their patients is prioritised,” Ms Fogarty concluded.