At the Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar at the handover by members of the CWU Postal and EIR branches of Propolis cream to front line nurses were (from left) Sean Donnelly (CWU Longford Postal Branch), Colette Gill, Moira Lafferty (INMO chairperson), Jill Hand (CNM3 ED), Barry Carr (CWU Mullingar Postal Branch), Dympna Wynne (Special Care Baby Unit), Katherine Kenny (director of Nursing) and Stephen Elliot (EIR Drogheda Branch).

Mullingar nurses get CWU donation to treat skin damage from PPE use

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is to donate €70,000 for the purchase of ‘Propolis’ cream to counter the damaging effects on skin due to the prolonged wearing of PPE by nursing staff treating patients with Covid-19.

This action by the national executive of the union is to support nurses in hospitals and intensive care units in a practical way, including nurses in the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

Nurses treating patients with Covid-19 have to wear PPE, including face masks and visors while continuously washing and sanitising their hands to help prevent contact and spread of the virus. Propolis cream is a recognised, non-chemical cream that can relieve irritation from skin rash caused from the use of PPE.

Mullingar CWU branch officer, Barry Carr, said: “The whole nation has been in awe of the courage, dedication and professionalism of medical staff, including nurses, doctors, ambulance paramedics and other care givers treating patients throughout the health emergency, often in the face of a significant threat to personal safety.

“This relatively small donation by the Union is as a result of requests from branches and postal and communications workers to recognise this contribution in a practical way.

“We realise that this donation will only be sufficient for approximately 5,000 nurses at 25 hospitals, but we hope other Unions, groups or employers might consider doing something similar.”

Phíl Ní Sheaghdha, general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, said: “I want to thank our fellow trade unionists in the CWU. Not only did they support us in our dispute last year but they have now donated a huge volume of skin care product to help relieve some of the damage that prolonged use of PPE can have on the skin.

“I understand that this call came to the CWU from their branches and grass roots membership, and we welcome their continued solidarity.”

The distribution of ‘Propolis’ cream to nurses is being organised through the INMO with the assistance of local CWU branches.

Mr Carr said CWU members are postal, couriers, and telecommunications workers who have continued to provide delivery and communication services throughout the lockdown. Their work has expanded to include checking on the elderly and invalided living alone and isolating at home, and connecting them with other support services where the need arises.

(Photo) At the Midlands Regional Hospital, Mullingar at the handover by members of the CWU Postal and EIR branches of Propolis cream to front line nurses were (from left) Sean Donnelly (CWU Longford Postal Branch), Colette Gill, Moira Lafferty (INMO chairperson), Jill Hand (CNM3 ED), Barry Carr (CWU Mullingar Postal Branch), Dympna Wynne (Special Care Baby Unit), Katherine Kenny (director of Nursing) and Stephen Elliot (EIR Drogheda Branch).

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