WORCESTER – The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), the union representing nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital, announced on Tuesday that it has filed charges of unfair labor practices against hospital management at Saint Vincent Hospital, and will prepare a whistleblower complaint to file in Superior Court.
MNA says nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital have filed, “complaints with state and federal agencies citing dangerous conditions that jeopardize the safety of patients.” It also says hospital management’s response to those safety complaints was to fire three nurses and suspend six others.
Nurses have filed over 500 official reports of staffing/patient care conditions that jeopardized the safety of their patients from July through December 2023, with 102 filed in January. The complaints have been filed with the Department of Public Health Division of Healthcare Quality, Joint Commission (which accredits acute care hospitals), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Mass. Board of Registration in Nursing, according to MNA.
MNA says example of the complaints by nurses includes allegations that staffing shortages led to:
- Patient falls due to poor staffing conditions;
- Increased “rapid response” calls to respond to cardiac patients resulting from nurses not having time for adequate patient monitoring;
- Admitting cardiac patients while necessary monitoring equipment was unavailable;
- Understaffed intensive care units;
- Medication administration and care delivery delays.
MNA nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital began a strike in March 2021. It took over 300 days f9r nurses and the hospital to reach an agreement. Nurses returned to work just over a year ago on January 22, 2022.
Tenet Healthcare, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and based in Dallas, Texas, operates the hospital. According to its website, it operates 480 ambulatory surgery centers and surgical hospitals, 61 acute care and specialty hospitals and approximately 110 other outpatient facilities. In the third quarter of 2023, the company reported generating $5.1 billion in revenue and $854 million in earnings, nearly a 17 percent margin.
Editors Note: This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available