Recommended Draft Ratios / Nursing Hours Claim

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The table shows the minimum nursing hours assigned to different ward types and the equivalent ratios. Only nurses providing direct clinical care are included in the ratios/nursing hours. This does not include positions such as NUMs, NMs, CNEs, CNCs, dedicated administrative support staff and wardspersons.

Specialty / Ward Type

Equivalent Ratios

Nursing Hours

AM

PM

Night

General Adult Inpatient Wards
Peer Group B (Major Metropolitan and Major Non-Metropolitan Hospitals) 1 1:4 1:4 1:7 6 (includes some shifts staffed with an in-charge)
Peer Group C (District Group Hospitals) 1 1:4 1:4 1:7
Peer Group D (Community Acute and Community non-acute Hospitals)1 1:4 1:4 1:7
Peer Group F3 (Multi-Purpose Services – Acute Beds)1 1:4 1:4 1:7
Peer Group F3 (Multi-Purpose Services – Aged Care Beds (DoHA funded)2 1:6 1:6 1:7 4.1
Inpatient Mental Health3
Adult – in specialised Mental Health Facilities 4 1:4 1:4 1:7 6(includes some shifts staffed with an in-charge)
Acute Mental Health Rehabilitation4 1:4 1:4 1:7
Child and Adolescent 5 1:2 + in charge  1:2 + in charge 1:4 10.5 + additional hours for in charge
Long Term Mental Health Rehabilitation5 1:6 + in charge 1:6 + in charge 1:10 3.67 + additional hours for in charge
Older Mental Health5 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 1:5 7.33 + additional hours for in charge
Emergency Department (Adult and Paediatric)6
Resuscitation Beds 1:1 1:1 1:1 26
Level 4-6 Emergency Departments 1:3 + in charge + triage 1:3 + in charge + 2 triage 1:3 + in charge + triage 8.67 + additional hours for in charge and triage
Level 3 Emergency Departments 1:3 + in charge + triage 1:3 + in charge + triage 1:3 + in charge
Level 2 Emergency Departments 1:3 1:3 1:3 8.67
EMUs 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 1:4 + in charge 7.83 + additional hours for in charge
MAUs 1:4 + in charge 1:4 + in charge 1:4 + in charge 6.5 + additional hours for in charge
Paediatrics7
General Inpatient Wards 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 8.67 + additional hours for in charge
Neonatal intensive care units8
ICU 1:1 + in charge 1:1 + in charge 1:1 + in charge 26 + additional hours for in charge
HDU 1:2 + in charge 1:2 + in charge 1:2 + in charge 13 + additional hours for in charge
Special Care Nurseries9 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 8.67 + additional hours for in charge
Critical Care, including Adult & Paediatrics  10
ICU 1:1 + in charge 1:1 + in charge 1:1 + in charge 26 + additional hours for in charge
HDU 1:2 + in charge 1:2 + in charge 1:2 + in charge 13 + additional hours for in charge
CCU 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 1:3 + in charge 8.67 + additional hours for in charge
Community Health and Community Mental Health services, except for Acute Assessment Teams Limit of 4 hours of face to face client contact per 8 hour shift, averaged over a week.11
Community Mental Health Services (Acute Assessment Teams) Limit of 3.5 hours of face to face client contact per 8 hour shift, averaged over a week.11
  1.  General Adult Inpatient Wards: This minimum staffing claim applies to all Medical, Surgical and combined Medical/Surgical wards in Peer Group B (Major Metropolitan and Major Non – Metropolitan Hospitals), Peer Group C(District Group Hospitals), Peer Group D (Community Acute and Community Non – Acute) and Peer Group F3 (Multi Purpose Service – acute beds). The staffing ratio expressed as nursing hours provides the option of rostering some shifts with a nurse in charge who does not also have an allocated patient workload. This claim is the same as currently legally mandated for Peer Group A city hospitals.
  2. General Adult Inpatient Wards: This minimum staffing ratio expressed as nursing hours will apply to PeerGroup F3 Multi Purpose Service – DoHA funded beds.
  3. Inpatient Mental Health: This claim does not apply toadult acute mental health wards in general hospitals that are not ‘specialised’ mental health facilities, because these wards have legally mandated nursing hours/ratios under the 2011 Award. This claim does not apply to forensic or PECC units.
  4. Acute Adult Mental Health – Specialised Facilities and Acute Mental Health Rehabilitation: This staffing ratio expressed as nursing hours provides the option of rostering some shifts with a nurse in charge who does not also have an allocated patient workload.
  5. Child and Adolescent, Long Term Mental Health Rehabilitation and Older Mental Health: In addition to the ratios expressed as nursing hours, additional hours must be provided for in charge of shift across two shifts.
  6. Emergency Department: This minimum staffing claim applies to adult and paediatric Emergency Departments according to their NSW Health designated level. Each staffing ratio expressed as nursing hours applies to beds, treatment spaces, rooms and any chairs where these spaces are regularly used to deliver care. The claim includes Emergency Departments, Emergency Medical Units, and Medical Assessment Units and other such services however named. In addition to the ratios expressed as nursing hours, additional hours must be provided for in charge of shift and triage nurses across all shifts where specified in the table above.
  7. Paediatrics: This minimum staffing claim applies to all paediatric general inpatient wards including medical, surgical and combined medical surgical wards and units across all Peer Groups. In addition to the ratios expressed as nursing hours, additional hours must be provided for in charge of shift across all shifts. Further additional hours must be provided for nurse escorts and work that in general adult hospitals would be described as ‘ambulatory care’.
  8. NICU: This minimum staffing claim applies across all Peer Groups. In addition to the ratios expressed as nursing hours, additional hours must be provided for in charge of shift across all shifts. Further additional hours must be provided for work that may be described as discharge nurse, neonatal family support and transport nurse (including retrieval).
  9. Special Care Nurseries: This ratios/nursing hours claim does not apply to the following named special care nurseries that perform CPAP, where the HDU claim will apply instead: Blacktown, Campbelltown, Gosford, Lismore, St. George, Tweed Heads, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga. Additional staffing hours specified in note 8 above also apply.
  10. Critical Care, including Adult and Paediatrics: This minimum staffing claim applies to Critical Care units, including Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Units and Coronary Care Units across all Peer Groups. In addition to the ratios expressed as nursing hours, additional hours must be provided for in charge of shift across all shifts. Further additional staffing may be clinically required and if so, should be provided.
  11. Community Health and Community Mental Health:Work that is not included in ‘face to face hours’includes travel, meal breaks and administration (eg. phone calls, paperwork), otherwise known as ‘indirect care’. Face to face hours may also be known as ‘direct care’.