Results of ballot of nurses at Coronary Care Unit at Cork University Hospital should be known by tomorrow

Nurses at the unit were balloted for industrial action over the past week after raising serious concern about staffing and burnout.

The ballot of staff at the Coronary Care Unit at CUH was completed yesterday and the results are expected to be communicated to hospital management tomorrow.

The unit is meant to be staffed by 24 nurses, however staffing at the unit which cares for people in heart failure or those recovering from a heart attack, has fallen to 17 nurses.

Representatives of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation in Cork say the unit is continuing to function on the goodwill of staff who are working longer hours and overtime, however they are warning that the situation is leading to burnout among staff and increased risk for patients.

The INMO has also told RedFM News that staff from other units will be watching the results of the ballot closely after previously describing the work environment at CUH as “dangerous” and “extremely challenging”.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said on Friday that the Government will look at the issues raised by the nurses at CUH and defended the governments approach to recruitment in the HSE, saying there had been a “huge increase” in nursing staff in the past three years.

Later today, Cork TD Mick Barry will tell Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that only 4 out of 21 wards at CUH meet the Department of Health’s criteria for safe staffing limits.

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, 73 patients are waiting for a bed at the hospital’s emergency department today.



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