The Northern NSW Local Health District’s decision to retain overnight on-site or on-call medical support at Mullumbimby Hospital’s emergency department is the right one and a victory for common sense, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) said on Thursday.
After months of campaigning by the NSWNMA and Mullumbimby community, the Northern NSW Local Health District on Wednesday announced that:
Following significant clinical and community consultation, Northern NSW Chief Executive Chris Crawford recommended that a trial of a doctor to nurse Telehealth model not proceed at Mullumbimby Hospital Emergency Department. The (LHD) Board has agreed with this recommendation and a decision has been made not to pursue this model.
The Board has been pleased to note staff and community support for the Connecting Critical Care Telehealth System to be progressively implemented at sites across the Local Health District.
It has however been decided that a doctor will continue to provide overnight support at Mullumbimby Hospital Emergency Department.
The Board has asked the management at Mullumbimby Hospital to look at more cost-effective methods to mitigate a reliance on locums.
NSWNMA general secretary Brett Holmes said the nurses and other members of the Mullumbimby community can be proud of their campaign to protect the safety of their emergency department. He congratulated the Northern NSW Local Health District board for listening to the concerns of the hospital’s nurses and wider community.
“However, I do note the continued reference to cost savings and want it understood that any attempt to reduce safe nursing levels at the hospital will also be vigorously opposed,” Mr Holmes said.
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