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Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. James Horan/Photocall Ireland

Limerick A&E nurses begin strike

Nurses at Limerick’s Mid Western Regional Hospital are holding a picket line outside thie hospital from 1pm to 5pm today.

NURSES AT LIMERICK’S Mid Western Regional Hospital are staging a four-hour protest today over conditions at the Emergency Department.

About 40 nurses, who are mainly members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and SIPTU, began picketing outside the hospital gates at 1pm and they will remain there until about 5pm.

Overall, there are more than 70 nurses involved in the industrial action but INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty, said some staff members could not join them because of night shifts, while others are currently providing cover in the hospital.

Yesterday, the HSE accused the nurses of not providing adequate cover to the Emergency Department during the strike action.

However, Fogarty told that there is currently a “safe level of cover” in the hospital.

“If there is an emergency, there will be enough cover to deal with it,” she said.

The HSE has also implemented contingency plans at the hospital, which Fogarty says appear to be sufficient.

INMO members at the hospital say they are withdrawing from their duties to highlight the “appalling conditions” for patients and the clinical safety risks, which have been caused by a number of factors, including the moratorium on the recruitment of nurses and the closure of acute beds.

Fogarty said that the nurses’ concerns have been raised consistently with HIQA and HSE management but their inaction has led to this public strike.

She said there was some contact between the HSE and INMO this morning but no resolution was reached.

“[INMO] members at the hospital will have to decide when their next demonstration will be or whether there will be one,” she said, adding that the group were delighted with the public support they received outside the hospital today.

Read: HSE appeals to Limerick nurses to call off strike>

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