Belfast Telegraph

Nurse backs strike despite daughter's cancelled appointment

Case Study

Clare McKeever with daughter Eva
Clare McKeever with daughter Eva
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

An auxiliary nurse was standing by her co-workers during yesterday's strike action - despite the cancellation of her daughter's appointment as a result.

Clare McKeever's 10-year-old daughter Eva was due to undergo an angiogram in the Royal Victoria Hospital before Christmas in order to figure out how best to treat a cluster of blood vessels that have been found on her brain.

The condition - arteriovenous malformation - was discovered in September after an MRI scan but Eva's angiogram will now take place after the festive period.

Yesterday saw the biggest ever industrial action take place in the history of Northern Ireland's health service as staff took to the picket lines to demand pay parity with their colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales.

West Belfast nurse Ms McKeever (31), who has been off work due to an illness for the last year, was informed last week that her daughter's scan was cancelled because of strike action.

But she felt that striking is a necessary step to take after seeing first hand what pressures healthcare staff face on a daily basis.

"Some people may not take cancelled appointments as a positive, but I work in intensive care so I see the critical care that patients are given and I also see the safety that needs to be given to look after those patients," she said.

"Everybody may think the strike is about the pay rise, but it is their job to look after patients - and patient safety is number one.

"That's what they're trying to get across. Someone needs to get their finger out and get the staffing numbers back up and look after the staff."

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