Healthcare news

Adult day care centres hit by strike action

Unison plans to stage further strike action today, with centres for adults with learning disabilities in the Northern health trust area affected. Picture by Mark Marlow
Seanín Graham

SEVEN centres for adults with learning disabilities in the Northern health trust area will be closed today until lunchtime due to strike action by Unison.

Centres in Larne, Carrickfergus, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Antrim, Newtownabbey and Ballymena will be affected.

Fleet drivers at Belfast City Hospital will also picket at 8am, though the Belfast trust has not indicated that any patients will be affected.

Northern trust drivers will also stage a walkout at Antrim Area Hospital between 8am and noon. Those using services are advised to organise their own transport to day centres for their re-opening at 12.30pm. They should also bring a packed lunch.

Transport will operate as normal in the afternoon to bring people home.

The north's health trusts confirmed yesterday that no procedures were cancelled followed strike action by staff based in sterile and domestic services at Antrim Area Hospital, Belfast City Hospital and the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

Thousands of Unison members will continue industrial action short of strike today.

Categories of staff who will 'work to rule' include nursing, ambulance service, support services, administration, clerical and managerial, social services and social care, professional and technical as well as those working across health service agencies.

Trusts have said on their websites: "The treatment and care of our patients and service users will remain our top priority. We will work closely together to ensure contingency plans are in place, whilst also being respectful of Unison members on strike.

"We will do everything we can to minimise disruption during this time, however it is inevitable that some services will be impacted. We apologise in advance to anyone affected.

"Patients and service users affected will be contacted directly and any updates will be posted on (our) website and on our social media channels."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Healthcare news