UL Hospital Group say ballot for strike action is premature

Photo © Pat Flynn

The UL Hospitals Group has expressed their disappointment that the INMO has sought to ballot nurses at the ICU in Limerick for possible industrial action.

The vote is set to take place over the next couple of weeks with the nursing union saying hospital management hasn’t taken appropriate steps to address staffing shortages.

In a statement to Tipp FM the UL Hospitals Group say nurse management at UHL regularly discuss issues relating to staffing and other matters with the INMO at the joint Nurse Management Union Forum.

They say two specific meetings have been held with the INMO on the matter of ICU staffing which have informed recruitment campaigns as well as planning for nursing staff leave entitlements. These meetings have apparently also led to the implementation of a number of short-term measures to ensure the continued safe delivery of care.

A nursing recruitment campaign which has been underway for some time is running nationally and internationally and includes a bespoke campaign for ICU nursing.

Six clinical skills facilitator positions within UHL’s critical care unit support a significant training programme which includes new staff in the ICU unit.

Currently, staff are redeployed to the ICU to support patient care when required. Standards of care in the ICU, which requires one-to-one care, have always been maintained.

The UL Hospital Group say they are disappointed that the IMNO have sought to ballot their members at this stage. A ballot for strike action is premature given that local engagement and other dispute resolution procedures have not been exhausted.

They go on to say they remain committed to engaging on the matter to ensure satisfactory resolution.