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Nurses against polyclinic shifts

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

Nurses against polyclinic shifts

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Senior nurses in the Ministry of Health are resisting attempts by management to rotate them at different polyclinics to deal with a situation at the Branford Taitt Polyclinic at Black Rock, St Michael.

For the past several months nurses attached to that polyclinic have been complaining about being threatened by who they call “bad boys” who have been attending the clinic for medical treatment.

This situation has resulted in the ministry receiving numerous requests for transfers from some of the terrified nurses, as well as their supervisor.

However, nurses who are attached to other polyclinics do not feel comfortable replacing them and have written to the permanent secretary outlining their concerns.

Caswell Franklyn, general secretary of the Unity Workers Union, confirmed he was in consultation with the senior nurses.

“I am assisting them,” he said. “The Government is trying to shift every senior nurse around the place by transferring everybody and people are resisting. First of all it doesn’t make sense. These are people who work in the community and as soon as you build up a rapport with people in the community, before you get the chance to settle down properly, in some cases they try to uproot you and put you to work somewhere else.”

He said the ministry should first fix the problem at Black Rock before they attempted this “wholesale” transfer of nurses.

“If they have a problem at Black Rock and they try to move somebody, they are putting someone else in harm’s way. The issue is to fix the problem; not transfer somebody into the problem.”

Of the senior nurses he said: “They are aggrieved by the decision to transfer all of them like that in one fell swoop. They have referred the matter to the permanent secretary, but they haven’t heard back yet in relation to the grievance that they filed.”

Meanwhile the Sunday Sun understands the ministry is investigating reports of a nurse at Black Rock Polyclinic being accosted by family members of a man who allegedly threatened the nurse. (MB)