First of three 12 hour strikes taking place today
Nurses across the Island will begin the first of three days of strike action this morning (Thursday).
Royal College of Nursing members are walking out as part of an ongoing dispute calling for better pay and conditions.
Numerous health services are being disrupted, some running 'Christmas Day' style schedules, while others are suspended.
The industrial action will begin at 8am and run until 8pm.
Nurses are also due to strike again on 18 and 19 October.
A picket line will operate at the main entrance to Noble’s Hospital.
The RCN says it’s campaigning to rectify the years of real terms pay cuts that it claims are pushing people out of the nursing profession and putting patient safety at risk.
Members were balloted in June about whether they would be willing to breach their employment contracts by going on strike following failed pay negotiations.
Eighty percent of the 46 percent turnout voted yes.
Manx Care says it respects and supports the decision of any RCN member participating in the industrial action.
Chief Executive Teresa Cope said: "The decisions we have taken with regard to cancelling appointments and closing services have not been taken lightly.
“However our nursing workforce is critical to our services and so industrial action is bound to have a huge impact.
“It’s vital that we work to maintain safe staffing levels across those services that are deemed as being essential or there to preserve life, particularly access to urgent or emergency care, whilst respecting and acknowledging our colleagues’ right to take industrial action.”
Services will be affected as follows:
- Inpatient services at Noble’s Hospital and Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital
- Emergency Department at Noble’s Hospital
- Jane Crookall Maternity Unit
- In-patient mental health services at Manannan Court and mental health crisis team
- Some community-based dialysis services and critical care provision alongside maintenance of chemotherapy provision and emergency/trauma surgery
- Most outpatient services
You can find more information HERE.
Manx Care adds it remains open to dialogue with RCN members but says its options remain limited due to financial constraints and having exhausted the ‘funding envelope’.
The Isle of Man Medical Society says it stands in 'solidarity' with the nurses who are striking.