CREGG House in Sligo was the scene of a protest this week.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) held a protest at the Sligo facility to highlight a review which they feel needs to be done in relation to staffing levels at the facility.
Staff from Cregg House who are members of the INMO staged the protest at 1pm on Monday and it lasted for approximately a half hour.
As well as staff and other members of the INMO, there were local politicians Cllr Gino O’Boyle, Cllr Thomas Healy and Cllr Declan Bree in attendance at the protest.
Maura Hickey, Industrial Relations Officer for the INMO, explained why she and her colleagues were protesting.
“It is not working conditions. HIQA, the standard setting body for the health service, last June requested management to do an urgent staffing review. To date management have not done that. They have implemented all of the other actions that HIQA have asked of them. The staff have not been found wanting in putting their shoulders to the wheel to get Cregg to where it was and get management on this,” she said.
At present staff are working on days off or on lunch breaks to provide cover when other staff are off, something which both the INMO and Maura Hickey feel is no acceptable.
“The effect here is that nurses and health care assistants have come in on their days off, or dinner break to do this (protest). We actually changed the time of the protest from 12 to 1 o’clock to make sure that service users would have got their lunch.”
Ms Hickey said their protest was about having adequate staffing levels to provide a safe level of care.
The INMO representative described the staff as “utterly demoralised” by the current staffing situation at Cregg.
“These are a staff at Cregg that have come through a transfer over to the HSE. They (the staff) believed things would be much better and improved with the HSE and that there would be openness and transparency. We are not finding this,” she added.
The protest at Cregg followed a ballot held by INMO members which saw a 98% vote in favour of industrial action at the facility.