UNISON members to take action over staffing shortages that put patients at risk

Antrim Area HospitalPaediatric nurses in Antrim Area Hospital have voted for strike action over staff shortages after a 100% turnout.

The UNISON members are concerned over the rotation of nurses from the paediatric ward to the emergency department, which they fear will leave both departments under-resourced, understaffed and put children at risk.

Managers ignored all clinical concerns raised by nurses and UNISON during protracted negotiations.

UNISON joint branch secretary Stephanie Greenwood said: “This ballot outcome is unprecedented in its return percentage and its vote for action [93%]. This must serve as an acknowledgement as to how strongly the nurses within UNISON feel.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis has stated “something is deeply wrong when nurses feel they have no alternative but to call for action to protect children from clinical risk.”

UNISON regional organiser Brian Ferguson has called for the chief executive of the Northern Trust to urgently meet directly with the paediatric nurses and genuinely listen to and heed their concerns.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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