HSE intransigent on patient safety at Mid West Regional Hospital Limerick

Following 11 hours of talks between the INMO, SIPTU and the HSE, under the chair of the Labour Relations Commission, yesterday no agreement was reached on the serious patient safety concerns at the Emergency Department in the Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick. HSE management refused all options put to them by the INMO and SIPTU as follows:

  • Refusal to employ a nurse, or redeploy any nurse, on a 24/7 basis to the Emergency Department from any location in the Mid West to  immediately  care for admitted patients on trolleys;
  • Refusal to utilise some of the 100 day care beds within the hospital for the emergency patients on a temporary basis pending full review and re-designation of some day care beds to in-patient services;
  • Refusal to discuss any element of the recommendations from the Special Delivery Unit or timeframe for implementation, instead stating that they required clarifications;
  • Refusal to continue talks at the Labour Relations Commission today as requested by the unions.

Speaking today Mary Fogarty, INMO Industrial Relations Officer said It appears that the HSE wish to provoke this dispute further by making an example of nurses who work in the Emergency Department who have publicly highlighted patient safety issues which have been validated by the recommendations of the Special Delivery Unit. Nurses at the hospital are more concerned now than ever at the HSE attitude and inability to work at resolving this dispute. It is also evident that there is some level of disconnect between the HSE and the Department of Health. The INMO is calling on the Minister for Health to immediately appoint an external team to  implement the recommendations in the SDU report, in particular that intensive management support be provided to the hospital to support on-site senior management before this dispute deteriorates any further.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Louise O’Reilly said; “We are calling on the Minister to publish, in full, the Special Delivery Unit report and to ensure that the recommendations which we have seen are implemented in full.  We believe this has to form part of the resolution to the ongoing dispute in Limerick.”

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