INMO MIDWIFE MEMBERS IN MAYO UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, CASTLEBAR TO COMMENCE INDUSTRIAL ACTION UP TO AND INCLUDING WITHDRAWAL OF LABOUR DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGES
- Severe staff shortages in the Maternity Unit
- Appointment of key Governance roles vital
- Midwives to stage lunchtime protest on Monday, December 5, 2016
Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in the Maternity Unit, the Labour Ward and Maternity OPD of Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar have unanimously balloted in favour of industrial action, up to and including a full withdrawal of labour, due to staff shortages.
Members will stage a lunchtime protest at the hospital on Monday, December 5 from 1.00 – 2.00p.m. and this will be followed by a work to rule commencing on Wednesday, December 7. During the work to rule members will withdraw from clerical and support duties to focus on, and prioritise, direct midwifery care. If no progress is made members will proceed to a full withdrawal of labour.
The action is to be taken in pursuit of the INMO’s claims for the Maternity Ward, Labour Ward and Maternity Outpatient Department of Mayo University Hospital to deal comprehensively with the understaffing, lack of key specialist roles and lack of robust governance structures within the Department.
The Organisation is calling for :
- An independent review of staffing in the Maternity Unit;
- Appointment of a Director and Assistant Director of Midwifery and CMM3;
- The appointment of an Advanced Midwife Practitioner, a Clinical Facilitator for Maternity Services, a Lactation Consultant, a Bereavement CMS and a CMS Sonographer;
- The immediate appointment of dedicated ward clerks and porters to support the midwifery service;
- The immediate replacement of staff on all forms of leave and proper rostering of staff for each shift;
- A review of transfers from the Maternity Unit to other locations; and,
- A follow up framework on Risk Assessments.
The decision by INMO members to commence industrial action is based on their concerns in relation to patient safety and their ability to provide safe care. The INMO has engaged with management on this issue on an on-going basis and highlighted members’ concerns which, to date, have not been adequately addressed.
Speaking today, INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Anne Burke said:
“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. 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 are left unaddressed.”
She continued: “Earlier this year the INMO welcomed the launch of Ireland’s first National Maternity Strategy which was to lead to a positive transformation, of maternity services in Ireland, with much improved staffing levels. A subsequent report on Midwifery Manpower, published by the Office of Nursing and Midwifery in the HSE, clearly stated that services, when implementing the Maternity Strategy, should move to a midwife to birth ratio of 1 : 29.5. An additional 450 midwives are required, to achieve this ratio, in the next four years. The strategy needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency in Mayo University Hospital where there is a severe shortage of midwives, in order to provide safe care.”
Ms Burke concluded:
“Our members are extremely concerned about patient safety and are frustrated and disappointed at management’s inadequate response to their legitimate claims. INMO members wish to highlight their concerns in relation to maintaining their professional registration and believe that working in this difficult environment is having a detrimental effect on their health and well-being. They have been left with no other option but to take this course of action.”