The nurses’ union is suspending directives to members following a satisfactory meeting with health authorities on Saturday.

Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses general secretary Colin Galea told the Times of Malta that the agreement was reached on main issues including early retirement, allowances and an adequate salary for some grades.

This was later confirmed in a joint statement issued by the union and the health authorities.

More meetings should be held in the coming days for a sectoral agreement to eventually be reached.

He thanked members for following directives which kicked off on Thursday, following a breakdown in discussions.

Nurses had been instructed not to participate in washing patients, except in cases when they cannot be bed-bathed by support staff. They were also ordered not to transfer patients for elective operations to any theatres, endoscopy rooms or suites, except for mothers scheduled for a caesarean section.

The action affected staff at Mater Dei Hospital, the intensive care unit, St Vincent de Paul Residence, Mount Carmel Hospital, Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, Gozo General Hospital, Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, health centres, the national immunisation services, the Well Baby Clinic, the Commcare Unit, elderly homes and Sir Paul Boffa Hospital.