Sunday 15 September 2019

Explainer: The services that will (and will not) be affected by nurses' strike

Stock picture
Stock picture
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

The HSE has advised patients that some appointments and procedures will be cancelled as a result of the planned nurses' strike on Wednesday.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are planning a 24-hour strike this coming Wednesday.

A number of other walk-outs are planned for five dates in February should the dispute go unresolved.

The dispute comes as nurses across the country campaign for safe staffing and better wages in the public health service.

The HSE has encouraged patients to only attend emergency departments if absolutely necessary on Wednesday, and warned that a number of appointments and procedures are facing cancellation.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that patients will be contacted directly to reschedule all cancelled appointments and procedures, and apologised "about the inconvenience this may cause".

Here are the services that will not be available on the day of the nursing strike:

Services not available on the day of the strike;

  • Local injury units will not operate
  • Planned inpatient surgery will be cancelled, except for cancer surgery. Inpatient is when you need to stay in hospital for one night or more.
  • Planned day case procedures will be 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
  • All day centres operated by the HSE and specified agencies where nurses are employed will close (people affected will be notified)
  • All routine community nursing services and health centre clinics where nurses participate will be cancelled
  • All day hospitals or outpatient appointments in community nursing hospitals or units will be cancelled

Services that are operating on the day of the strike;

  • Emergency departments (adult and children) - attend emergency services if absolutely essential
  • Urgent cancer surgery - you will be contacted directly by hospitals about your surgery
  • 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)
  • Planned essential services delivered at home
  • Residential care of older people and people with intellectual disability in centres operated by the HSE and specified agencies
  • Palliative care
  • Limited newborn screening will be available

The INMO said that talks with the HSE at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) had "collapsed without resolution" on Friday.

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said in a statement: "Ireland’s nurses and midwives are asking simple questions. Where is the Taoiseach? Where is the Minister for Finance? There is a vacuum of political leadership.

“The largest strike in the health service’s history looms and our political leaders are nowhere to be seen.

“With a heavy heart, strike preparations continue. As ever, we are available to talk any time, but we are still waiting for the government to make realistic proposals to avert this strike.”

Read more: Concerns rise over clashes of nursing strike with freezing weather

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News