Mental health nurses stop home visits in dispute over uniforms, transport

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses goes to war over a lack of uniforms for Mount Carmel Hospital nurses and no proper transportation to deliver outreach services

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses has issued directives to stop mental health service nurses from carrying out home visits due to a dispute over nursing uniforms and transportation.

"The nurses in Mount Carmel Hospital are the only nurses left without a new supply of uniform. They have to use old and torn uniforms, which have been used for the last four years since no new uniforms were provided. While nurses in Mater Dei Hospital, Primary Health care and Saint Vincent De Paul were given a new set of uniforms in January," the union said.

MUMN said that further discrimination against nurses at Mount Carmel Hospital has occurred regarding the transportation system. "This year, Mater Dei Hospital was supplied with a huge fleet of electric cars for their outreach and emergency services. The nurses in Mount Carmel Hospital who work in the outreach and community services and have a much broader service are constrained to use their own vehicles to do the home visits," the union said.

Therefore, MUMN said it could not allow this "continuous discrimination" on the nurses of Mount Carmel Hospital. The union said this showed that the service was classified as a "third division."

MUMN said that with immediate effect, all community and outreach services provided by the nurses in the mental health sector are to stop using their personal vehicles and stop all home visits.

When the necessary uniforms and vehicles similar to Mater Dei Hospital are provided, home visits will resume.