Nurses in the Intensive Care Unit in University Hospital Limerick will begin industrial action in the form of work-to-rule this morning.
INMO Assistant Director of Industrial Relations, Mary Fogarty said:
“INMO members in the ICU in University Hospital are taking an unprecedented step today by beginning a work-to-rule.
“Staffing in the ICU is currently operating at a 22% deficit, which represents nearly a quarter of the required nurses are not available on the roster, yet 100% of the ICU beds remain open to admissions. Regularly shifts in the ICU are significantly depleted and this is predicted to continue. Our members are very concerned about the potential deviation away from one nurse to one patient care in the ICU. The lack of consistent safe staffing in the intensive care unit is having a detrimental impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of our members working in this unit and their patients.
“Since the ballot of members in UHL ICU concluded, the INMO has engaged extensively with hospital management both at local level and through the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission.
“In order to make staffing safe in UHL ICU and ensure that patients are getting the one-to-one care that is expected in an intensive care unit, the INMO is calling on hospital management to temporarily close two beds in the ICU pending the recruitment of suitably qualified and experienced ICU nurses. Unlike other hospitals experiencing similar nursing deficits, management in Limerick have been unwilling to do this thus far.
“Our members in UHL ICU have been working at full tilt since the beginning of the pandemic with very little reprieve. It is unacceptable that they are constantly expected to deliver nursing care in an unsafe care.
“The decision to begin a work-to-rule is not one that our members have come to lightly but feel like all other avenues to resolve the issues that exist in UHL ICU have been closed off by hospital management.”