Nurses’ Campaign To Escalate

The two nursing unions involved in a dispute with the Government are preparing a major escalation of their campaign. In the row for better pay and shorter working hours, the unions are planning to hold one-hour work stoppages at around 50 hospitals and mental health facilities.

The one-hour stoppages are due to take place next Wednesday and Friday. The details will be announced tomorrow, on the final day of the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association’s AGM in Donegal.

The Health Minister, Mary Harney is due to address the conference this afternoon and an uncertain reception awaits her. Meanwhile, a report for the Health Service Executive on the impact of the dispute claims there have been near-misses involving patients in some hospitals.

It details a case in a Dublin hospital, where it is alleged, nursing theatre staff could not be contacted to aid a patient with post surgery haemorrhage and that other staff had to run to theatre to assist.

The report warns that an extension of the work stoppages would have a significant effect on the ability to maintain hospital services.