Emergency department nurses work to rule at St Vincent’s

Members of Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation take action over overcrowding

INMO members from St Vincent’s hospital Dublin holding a one-hour protest outside the hospital yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

INMO members from St Vincent’s hospital Dublin holding a one-hour protest outside the hospital yesterday. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Emergency department nurses at St Vincent’s hospital in Dublin are beginning a work to rule today over persistent overcrowding in the unit.

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation are withdrawing from clerical work, non-nursing duties and the use of computers and non-emergency phones as part of the industrial action.

The union claims more than 100 patients are regularly being accommodated in the emergency department, which has a capacity for just 18 patients.

It says an inability to recruit and retain nurses has made it very difficult to provide safe care for patients and the working environment is intolerable for its members.

The INMO and the hospital are also in dispute over the number of trolleys counted daily in the department, with the union accusing management of under-estimating patient numbers.

Trolley numbers at St Vincent’s were up 134 per cent in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period in 2014.

About 100 INMO members protested outside the hospital yesterday. The hospital says it has contingency plans in place to minimise disruption during the work to rule.

PAUL CULLEN