A strike this Wednesday by HSE support staff is expected to have a significant impact on Letterkenny University Hospital.
Hundreds of healthcare support workers at the hospital will launch a 24 hour work stoppage from 8am.
The Siptu strike will hit 38 hospitals, including LUH. The dispute has arisen from the HSE’s failure to implement pay increases arising from an agreed job evaluation scheme.
The action will involve up to 10,000 SIPTU members providing portering, household and catering services and employed as Health Care Assistants, Maternity Care Assistants, Laboratory Aides, Chefs and Surgical Instrument Technicians.
The strike was originally planned for Thursday 20th June. It was deferred to allow for emergency talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Talks ended without agreement yesterday.
According to the HSE, the services that will be mostly impacted by the strike are:
- Deferral of some elective inpatient procedures
- Significant cancellation of scope procedures
- Reduced outpatient services
- Reduced laboratory services for GPs
- Reduced catering services for both patients and staff
- Reduced operating theatre activity.
“Patients are being contacted by their local hospital or healthcare facility in the event that their scheduled procedure or service will be affected by the dispute,” said a HSE statement.
“While every effort will be made to minimise impact on patients, industrial action involving these essential staff will have a significant impact on services.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Patients’ Association is calling for clarity on what contingency plans are being put in place.
A new statement was released from Saolta on Tuesday evening to say the hospital group are continuing to put contingency plans in place in advance of tomorrow’s industrial action. It said:
“Across each of the hospitals, patients whose procedures or appointments are being cancelled are being contacted directly – this mostly relates to inpatient elective procedures, scopes and day case procedures.
“Some Outpatient Clinics have also been cancelled – it varies from hospital to hospital but patients are being notified directly, if patients do not hear from their hospital they should attend their appointment as scheduled.
“Emergency Departments will remain operational across the Group although patients can expect significant delays.
“Critical care areas such as ICU and HDU will function as normal. Chemotherapy treatment and dialysis will proceed as scheduled across the Group.
“There will be reduced or very limited catering services for both patients and staff in some hospitals in the Group.
“We regret the inconvenience for patients and will work to reschedule their appointments as quickly as possible.”