Limerick hospital services face ‘significant disruption’ during nurses strike

Limerick hospital services face ‘significant disruptions’ during nationwide nurses strike

HEALTHCARE services across Limerick and the Mid-West will face a “significant disruption” as a result of the nationwide nurses strike this Wednesday, the public has been warned.

Nurses and midwives will take to the picket lines at all hospitals in Limerick between 8am and 4pm, to protest against ongoing issues in relation to pay and conditions.

On January 8, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation announced that it would take to the picket lines on January 30, warning that plans are also in place for five additional strike days.

And over the past three weeks, talks between the union, HSE and the Department of Health have broken down in the lead up to the historic day of strike action.

It is only the second time in INMO history that nurses have engaged in nationwide strike action.

A long list of services will not be operating this Wednesday as a result of the strike. They include:

·         Injury units will not operate

·         Planned inpatient surgery is cancelled. Inpatient is when you need to stay in hospital for one night or more.

·         Planned day case procedures are cancelled. Day case is when you are given a hospital bed or a trolley but will not stay overnight.

·         All outpatient appointments are cancelled. This includes adult, maternity and paediatric appointments. Outpatient is when you go to hospital for an appointment but don't stay overnight.

·         If a pregnant woman needs urgent assessment due to the cancellation of an appointment, she should go to the emergency admission room at University Maternity Hospital Limerick

A number of services that will remain in operation include:

·         Emergency Department at UHL (adult and children). Please only attend our emergency services if absolutely essential

·         Maternity services (Delivery suites, home births, special care baby units, neonatal)

·         Colposcopy services

·         Oncology services (chemotherapy and radiotherapy)

·         Dialysis

·         Planned obstetric procedures (based on clinical need)

·         Palliative care

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said that it continues to work with the union to “secure the safest possible level of nursing and midwifery cover in our hospitals during the period of the strike and contingency arrangements are being finalised”.

“All outpatient clinics have been cancelled.  The vast majority of elective procedures have been cancelled. However, a small number of elective surgeries will take place at UHL. These are complex cases where surgery is time-critical and these patients are being contacted directly by the hospital.

“Where cancellations are taking place, the relevant hospitals are making every effort to contact those patients affected,” he said this Tuesday.

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