Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) in St Camillus Hospital, Limerick commenced a work to rule this morning.
The industrial action comes some seven months on from notification by nurses to senior HSE managers that the clinical care of patients at the hospital is compromised due to ongoing unfilled nursing positions. Currently there are approximately 15 vacant nursing posts.
The INMO, at the request of its members, has engaged with the HSE since last November in efforts to fast-track recruitment of nurses. So far this has not yielded sufficient numbers of qualified nurses and leaves the residents at ongoing risk.
Calls by members for the HSE to curtail admissions to the 100 bed facility until such time as the nursing levels improve have also been rejected. Therefore, it is with regret that INMO members are left with no other option but to commence industrial action. The action will not harm any patient but will assist the available nurses to prioritise all care by ceasing non urgent clerical and administrative work.
INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty said, “Nurses are the lead clinicians in older persons residential services. Their expertise and knowledge of the needs of their patients, and their concerns about the ability of their employer, the HSE, to deliver safe care should not go unheeded. Equally, our members are accountable to patients, families and regulatory agencies to ensure that standards of care are met. It is a poor reflection of our health service providers that nurses are driven to take industrial action to protect vulnerable residents in the care of the HSE”.