Tuesday 21 November 2017

Psychiatric nurses end their industrial action at Galway hospital

Psychiatric nurses protest outside University College Hospital Galway
Psychiatric nurses protest outside University College Hospital Galway
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

Psychiatric nurses have ended their industrial action at Galway hospital.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said it had reached agreement on a new set of proposals to resolve an ongoing dispute at University College Hospital Galway.

The dispute related to health and safety concerns in the acute psychiatric unit at the hospital. In April 10 nurses refused to take up work in the acute unit for over five hours when it materialised the unit would be under-staffed.

Staff had claimed they have been left short-staffed at the acute psychiatric unit of the hospital on a number of occasions over the past months with assaults in the unit escalating as a result. They claim there have been 36 assaults on staff since January.

Staff later voted for industrial action after it emerged the HSE planned to sanction those who failed to work.

Following talks at the LRC, the HSE has committed to provide an agreed complement of staff for the Acute Unit and the six bed High Observation Unit.

The High Observation Unit had remained unused since its construction in 2008, it will now be opened and fully staffed.

A joint PNA-HSE group will be put in place to monitor the implementation of today’s agreement.

PNA General Secretary designate, Peter Hughes thanked the LRC and HSE Interim Chief Officer for the West, Mr Bernard Glouster for their role in securing today’s agreement.

"PNA is pleased that the long standing issues at the UCHG Acute Unit have been resolved and we can bring this dispute to an end. We are confident that with the implementation of today’s agreement staff and patient safety can be assured and  nurses can now get on with delivering high quality professional care in a safe environment," he added.

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