Thursday, April 14, 2016
INMO Members In The GB Radiotherapy Ward, Cork University Hospital To Ballot For Industrial Action
- Dispute is in relation to on-going unsafe staffing levels on the ward
Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are to ballot for industrial action, in the form of a work to rule, in the GB Radiotherapy Ward at Cork University Hospital due to ongoing inadequate and unsafe nurse staffing levels on the ward.
Management agreed to a review, at a Workplace Relations Commission Hearing in May 2015, of the following:
• Bed capacity on the ward;
• Current staffing numbers;
• Acuity levels/dependency levels/nursing metrics oncology;
• Early warning score notifications;
• Skill mix to include the nurse management grades on the ward; and,
To date management have failed to produce a report on the review. Also, 6 additional beds have been opened on the ward without any commensurate increase in staffing levels.
The INMO has, on behalf of its members, outlined their concerns for patient safety formally in writing to hospital management on December 14 and 22, 2015. A meeting was held on December 17, 2015, where their concerns were further elaborated on but unfortunately no progress has been made as management have not responded to the issues raised, nor has any meaningful effort been made to remedy the situation.
The INMO has again written to management requesting further meetings and a response to the members’ concerns on January 15 and 28, February 29, March 11 and 18, April 1 and April 6, 2016. No meeting has taken place to date.
Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer Mary Rose Carroll said:
“It is regrettable that INMO members have to consider engaging in industrial action given that management are aware of the needs of the service and have failed in their commitment to honour the terms of the WRC agreement brokered in May 2015. In addition, management have increased bed numbers without any increase in staffing levels.
INMO members are extremely frustrated at management’s lack of acknowledgement and engagement on this issue. They are disappointed that their legitimate concerns regarding their ability to provide safe care are being ignored and have been further compromised by the placing of 6 additional beds on the ward.
Moreover, management have not recognised, nor acknowledged, our members’ concerns with regard to patient safety, their professional registration and their well-being which is compromised as a result of working in this environment.”
The ballot will take place today. The work to rule would allow available nurses to prioritise all care by ceasing non urgent clerical and administrative work.
The INMO remains available to meet with management in an effort to resolve this issue.