Department of Psychiatry, St Luke's Hospital
Planned industrial action at the Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny has been postponed.
Talks are ongoing between SIPTU staff and hospital management over patient safety concerns and overcrowding.
Industrial action was scheduled to take place start today (March 27) at 8am but this has been deferred for a week pending talks.
SIPTU members met with hospital management in April and voiced their concerns about patient safety and overcrowding at the department. A number of proposals were put to management including measures to address overcrowding. The proposals were rejected and SIPTU staff have issued management with their intention to take industrial action.
Deputy Bobby Aylward has raised the matter in the Dáil .
“The situation at the Department of Psychiatry in St. Luke's is very concerning. The Minister and the HSE must take the necessary steps to avoid strike action as urgently as possible. We cannot accept a situation by which our psychiatric nurses are forced to endure unfair and unsafe working conditions on a daily basis.
“Overcrowding at the unit has been a persistent problem for months on end and we owe it to the very dedicated staff to reduce admission numbers to safe levels as previously agreed.
“The DOP in St. Luke’s has come under serious pressure in recent months. This DOP consists of 44 beds but due to overcrowding in May and June, patients have been admitted and then told they have to sleep on couches. This is a very sensitive issue which affects some of our most vulnerable people,” he said.