Bankstown-Lidcombe ED nurses under rising pressure

Fed up with widespread staffing issues, nurses and midwives will gather in their own time outside Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital’s emergency department tomorrow and highlight their concerns to local residents.

Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Bansktown-Lidcombe Branch believe increased patient presentations and a lack of nursing support is putting both patient safety and staff at risk.

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said the emergency department nurses had been understaffed and overworked for some time, despite ongoing attempts to raise the issues with South Western Sydney Local Health District.

“It’s widely known there’s been a rise in the number patients presenting to the emergency department at Bankstown hospital, including an 11.5% increase in the April-June quarter, yet the same staffing and resourcing issues remain,” said Mr Holmes.

“Our members have been highlighting their concerns through the appropriate reasonable workload channels with hospital management, yet they’re still confronted with these issues day in, day out.

“They’re constantly working short staffed in the emergency department, poor skills mix is contributing to a high turnover of staff and unexpected leave is not being replaced, prompting excessive workloads for the remaining staff who are trying to treat the increased presentations.

“In a recent meeting with Branch members, hospital management confirmed an emergency department wards person would be hired to order and unpack stock, as well as a night-time cleaner, but there are still nursing vacancies which are contributing to these issues.”

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