Blacktown nurses and midwives take further action to protect patient safety

Fed up nurses and midwives will gather in their own time outside Blacktown Hospital TODAY, Monday 7 December, voicing their continued frustration at management’s refusal to take understaffing and patient safety concerns seriously.

Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Blacktown Hospital Branch have raised the widespread unsafe staffing levels with Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) on numerous occasions but inadequate action from management is putting mothers and babies at risk in maternity services.

WSLHD has offered to increase the number of midwives by 15 fulltime equivalent (FTE) positions but so far, no timeframe has been put forward as to when this will be implemented.

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said members were angry management is still not acting swiftly, despite being faced with a crisis.

“Midwives have demanded staffing numbers be increased for over a year now, and management have finally agreed that the service is understaffed,” Mr Holmes said.

“Even now that our members are at a breaking point, these new positions still aren’t being advertised and there is no timeframe for when the Local Health District intends to start hiring the additional 15 midwives that our members have won by standing up for their community.

“Not only does the 15 FTE fall short of what’s required, but the midwives and the community are still being made to wait.

“In addition to this, management are trying to shut down other concerns our members are raising and have referred those that they can raise to a sub-committee of a committee. This makes it even harder for safety issues to be identified and dealt with. There has to be a decision maker at the table if these concerns are to be taken seriously.

“What will it take for Blacktown Hospital management to act with the urgency this situation demands and support their midwives and prioritise patient safety?”

NSWNMA members will be joined at the rally by supportive local MPs.

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