Paediatric Nurses at Antrim Area Hospital have voted in favour of industrial action following staffing concerns over patient safety.
According to nursing union Unison, there was an “unprecedented” 100% return on ballot papers and a 100% return voting in favour of action short of strike action, with 93% in favour of all out industrial action.
Stephanie Greenwood, Unison Joint Branch Secretary for the Northern Trust, said: “This ballot outcome is unprecedented in its return percentage and its vote for action.
“This must serve as an acknowledgement as to how strongly the nurses within Unison feel.”
A statement from the union said the action stems from a dispute over the rotation of nurses from the paediatric ward to the Emergency Department, which nurses state will leave both departments under-resourced, understaffed and put children at risk.
It adds that nurses are so concerned the proposal will compromise the safety of young patients, “they have voted overwhelming in favour of industrial action”.
Dave Prentis UNISON’s General Secretary has stated that “something is deeply wrong when nurses feel they have no alternative but to call for action to protect children from clinical risk”.
Brian Ferguson, Regional Organiser with UNISON 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.