Nurses hold picket on cuts at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital

(Western Mass News file photo)

Today, nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Organizations, are protesting staff cuts at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital.

Nurses are pointing the finger at the hospital's parent company, Trinity Health.

The union says they were blindsided by these cuts to the child and psychiatric service department.

In turn, this is why they're picketing outside the hospital today.

According to the Massachusetts Nurses' Association, these staff cuts are impacting patients, young and old.

They say it all started last year when renovations to the child and psychiatric unit at the hospital had to be made. The renovations are still ongoing

Due to the work being done, twelve of the fourteen beds they used for care were removed, according to the union.

They say those beds have never reopened and the hospital let the nurses go who would be working those rooms.

As a result of that, the union says kids between the ages of five and seven are being merged for care with teens much older than them.

Many of those teens, the union says, are being treated for violence or sexual-related problems.

The Providence Behavioral Hospital is a part of Mercy Medical Center and owned by Trinity Health.

According to Trinity's website, their annual revenue exceeds $17 billion a year.

The nurses say with earnings that high, cuts shouldn't be a reality.

Mercy Medical Center said in statement:"Mercy Medical Center and Providence Behavioral Health Hospital remain one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in Western Massachusetts, a leader in addressing the opioid epidemic, and the sole provider in our community for certain services. We continue to fulfill our Mission by providing this essential care only through the support of Trinity Health and in partnership with multiple stakeholders, including our legislators, elected officials, regulatory agencies, and community partners. We have remained committed to job placement and only have one represented nurse still being interviewed for other opportunities. So while we are disappointed by the MNA's approach today, we respect their right to voice their opinion, and hope these activities shine a light on the need for adequate funding and new strategic solutions to transform how we meet the behavioral health needs of our community well into the future."Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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