Nurses on cancer ward to begin industrial action

Concerns over unsafe staffing levels
  • Deborah Condon

Nurses in a busy cancer ward are to begin industrial action this week over inadequate and unsafe staffing levels.

The nurses, all members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), are set to begin their action in the oncology/radiotherapy ward at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on October 5.

The action will take the form of a work to rule, which will see nurses withdrawing from clerical and support duties and instead focusing on direct nursing care.

According to the INMO, this decision by nurses is based on ‘their expert clinical knowledge, their concerns in relation to patient safety and their ability to provide safe care'.

The INMO has engaged with hospital management on this issue since last December, however the concerns of staff have ‘not been adequately addressed'.

"Our members are extremely concerned about patient safety and are frustrated and disappointed at management's inadequate response to their legitimate concerns. The staffing deficits on the ward are further compounded by the opening of additional beds," commented INMO industrial relations officer, Mary Rose Carroll.

She added that those involved in the industrial action feel they have been ‘left with no other option but to take this course of action'.

The work to rule will begin at 8am on October 5.


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