No full meal service for patients due to strike at Limerick hospitals

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

No full meal service for patients due to strike at Limerick hospitals

MANY patients will not be served full meals as a result of this Wednesday’s strike action in Limerick, the UL Hospitals Group has announced among other “unavoidable” disruptions. 

Following the breakdown of talks between Siptu and the Government over pay and entitlements, around 800 people will take to the picket lines at three Limerick hospitals for 24 hours. 

Nationally, 10,000 healthcare workers will go on strike. 

The industrial action will take place at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital between Wednesday 8am and Thursday 8am. 

As a result of the strike action, a “significant number” of outpatient appointments at UHL and the maternity have been cancelled and will have to be rescheduled. 

“Limited catering services will be provided on Thursday. Regrettably many patients will be served soup/sandwiches/salads rather than a full meal service. Special arrangements are in place for patients with specific dietary requirements,” a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said. 

Dialysis clinics and oncology and haematology clinics will go ahead as usual on Wednesday at UHL. Antenatal clinics at University Maternity Hospital Limerick will also go ahead.

Significant disruption to elective surgical services in the three affected hospitals is also “unavoidable”.

All endoscopy and bronchoscopy procedures have been cancelled at UHL. Theatres will continue to operate for emergency cases and for a small number of urgent elective cases.

Patients whose planned surgery or day case procedure is being affected are being contacted directly by the hospital.

Injury units at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s will operate as normal, and that emergency services at UHL and UMHL will also be operating. 

“UL Hospitals Group is working with Siptu on contingency planning and on ensuring essential care is delivered. However, significant disruption is expected given the scale of the action, which involves essential support staff.”