(Antigua Observer) The general membership of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association (ABNA), will be huddling this week to discuss the recent transfer of an executive member to a post to which they strongly object.
The nurses are upset about the recent transfer of Nurse Clarissa Christopher from her position as Matron of the Fiennes Institute within the Ministry of Health and the Environment, to Matron of Correctional Institutes, having direct responsibility for inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, Residents of the Boys Training School and the Sunshine Home for Girls. The transfer took effect on September 1.
In a strongly-worded statement on the weekend, the association asked Health Minister Molwyn Joseph to re-think the decision which they have described, as a “deliberate act of victimisation.”
According to the statement, Nurse Christopher has been disrespected and unfairly treated and her rights as an employee have been trampled on.
ABNA further stated that it viewed the decision to transfer the senior nurse as unfair and unjust, adding that it would be a waste of resources that would have a crippling effect.
Moreover, ABNA insists that the transfer was never discussed with Nurse Christopher and that Cabinet’s decision seems to have been motivated by allegations brought against the nursing official that were never proven.
“She has expressed that before the decision, she was never once contacted for her input. This area was never a career path for her, and that she has never indicated any interest or desire in this created position. It would have been best to have gotten an input from Nurse Christopher to ensure that proper transitioning and support takes place in this newly-created position,” the ABNA statement said.
As it relates to the point that the transfer would be a waste of resources, the association argued that Nurse Christopher is a qualified nurse and midwife with over thirty-five years of clinical nursing experience with additional qualification in specialised nursing in geriatrics [elderly care] and leadership management.
ABNA stated further, that the proposed position of Matron of Correctional Institutes does not even require a nurse with such level of expertise and training.
“Transferring a qualified and experienced nurse leader to an area that does not require that level of nursing experience is a waste of resources. It is believed that this action by the Ministry may cripple the quality of care and services at the Fiennes Institute by removing an expert nursing leader before proper succession-planning measures are implanted,” the association said.
The nursing association will be meeting on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the matter further.