Fears over massive disruption as nurses’ to strike

PHARMACY staff at SWAH kicked off the first leg of industrial action this week, with further strike action by union members to take place over the coming weeks. 
Chief Executive of the Western Trust, Dr Anne Kilgallen said, “The treatment and care of our patients and service users will remain our top priority.
“We wish to reassure patients, their families and the public that we are doing everything to minimise disruption to services. 
“However, it is inevitable that some services will be impacted during this time and we apologise in advance to anyone affected.”
Despite this, when the Herald asked the Trust to be more specific on the direct impact that strike action would have on patients waiting appointments and procedures at SWAH, they declined to comment. 
The Western Trust stated, “Patients and service users directly affected by the strike action will be contacted by the respective hospital or community facility. 
“General information about updates will be posted on the Western Trust website and on our social media”
However, there is widespread concern among people here. One man said, “We have just watched thousands of appointments and planned surgeries, procedures and admissions being cancelled in Belfast. Whose to say the same won’t happen here?”
Despite public concern, Jill Weir from Unison Omagh and Fermanagh, stressed that unions were committed to ensure patient safety and well-being. 
“We are not doing this to bring harm, but we need to send a strong message to the Department of Health.
 “There has been no pay deal implemented here for ten years, whilst our other counterparts in the UK are getting paid more. Your value is how your paid, and we are not valued.
“A fair pay deal will help recruit and retain staff, it will bring workers back to the health care service and ensure safe staffing.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we have decided to take action for a better pay deal,” the union rep said. 
Support workers at SWAH are participating in further strike action today, with more industrial action planned by nursing staff next Wednesday expected to cause huge disruption across the  health service. 

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA