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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 April, 2014

Nurses in four-hour strike over ‘safety risks’ at hospital

Overcrowding has led to “appalling conditions” in a Limerick emergency department, a nurses’ union said.

The Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick
The Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick
Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

NURSES WILL STRIKE for four hours next week over what they say are “appalling conditions” for patients at the emergency department of Limerick’s Mid Western Regional Hospital.

The staff members say a continuing recruitment freeze, closures of hospital beds throughout the region, and budget cuts have led to “clinical safety risks” at the unit. Nurses’ union the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation also cited a lack of staff to support new consultant posts, and diversion of funding from other areas to pay for these posts.

The union has called on HIQA to inspect the hospital and assess how overcrowding is affecting patient care.

The stoppage was announced this morning by INMO after members voted for industrial action last week. The union said it would keep a nursing presence in the emergency department during the action, which will take place next Wednesday afternoon, to respond to any “unforeseen developments”.

Mary Fogarty, a spokesperson for INMO, said: “Nurses working at the hospital have repeatedly raised their concerns in respect of the clinical safety issues with both HIQA and Senior HSE Management. Unfortunately, due to the inability of both bodies to address the deplorable clinical environment now visible daily at the hospital, nurses are driven to publicly highlight the extremely serious situation through industrial action.”

The HSE could not be immediately reached for comment this morning.

Read more: Limerick nurses vote in favour of industrial action>

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