Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) who work at the University Maternity Hospital Limerick are to meet to consider a ballot for industrial action.
Midwives are deeply frustrated by the failure of the HSE to address notified clinical governance concerns flagged in January 2015 and to implement an agreement brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in November 2015 aimed at addressing staffing levels which included:
• Recruitment of an additional 30 midwives & neo natal nurses, (to date these additional posts have not been filled);
• Review of hospital requirements for portering on 24/7 basis;
• Additional clerical administration supports in all areas of the hospital;
• Additional health care assistants to support the work of midwives;
• And critically an electronic booking system for elective inductions to cease over booking of elective work each day.
Speaking today INMO Industrial Relations Officer Mary Fogarty said:
“It is the firmly held view of midwives that the HSE has only paid lip service to the WRC implementation process since last November, has reneged on a review of a need for additional porters and failed to date to allocate additional clerical staff and health care assistants.
In tandem the hospital has high elective induction activity (39% in January 2016) placing unbearable pressures on the service that still has significant midwife staffing deficits.
Our members have nothing personally to gain by speaking out except securing a safe, quality and appropriately staffed maternity service for mothers and babies. It is of significant concern to frontline midwives that the ongoing clinical risks at the hospital due to a shortage of staff and high elective induction rates are left unaddressed.
Midwives are disillusioned with the HSE and its failure to listen and act in a timely fashion and put in place robust governance and safe staffing arrangements.”