INMO To Take Industrial Action At Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda Following Break Down Of WRC Talks
A second day of talks, at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), to avert industrial action at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, have broken down today, Friday 20th May 2016.
The dispute is in regards to a shortage of nursing staff at the hospital which is negatively impacting upon patient care and crushing staff morale.
Management at the hospital accept that they currently have a deficit of 104 whole time equivalent posts, that remain unfilled. However, the hospital continues to work at full capacity and this ensures that there are insufficient nurses on duty to provide safe and appropriate care to patients.
There is now a major problem with recruitment and retention of adequate nurses to maintain hospital services throughout the country. This is an issue which needs to be urgently addressed by the government and the HSE, otherwise services will have to be curtailed, ensuring an exacerbation of emergency department overcrowding and the lengthening of waiting lists.
INMO members at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will proceed with industrial action on Tuesday 24th May 2016. This action will be in the form of a work-to-rule with nurses setting aside non-core working duties in order to increase their ability to provide direct care to patients. It is likely that the dispute will enhance patient care as they will be focusing on their clinical duties rather than non-essential administrative tasks.
Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Tony Fitzpatrick said:
“The INMO is gravely disappointed that a resolution to the dispute could not be found in the WRC. We remain available for further negotiations, however, there needs to be a realisation on the part of the HSE that health services are going to be greatly impacted if they do not devise strategies to recruit more nurses and retain those who are currently in the service. At present there is a haemorrhage of skilled nurses from the public sector to the private sector and overseas recruiters who are offering them much more attractive terms and conditions of employment.
We are greatly concerned that an embargo of nursing posts will bring the health service a shuddering halt and decimate patient services throughout the country.”