Blue Mountains nurses speak up for RATIOS

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) members rallied in their own time outside Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital this afternoon to call for safe staffing across all specialty areas.

Members of the NSWNMA Blue Mountains Mental Health Branch highlighted short staffing issues off the back of a historic case filed in the Supreme Court on 15 March alleging widespread and repeated staffing breaches by the state.

Nurses are demanding the current Nursing Hours Per Patient Day staffing model is replaced with a safe shift by shift ratios system.

According to additional Ministry of Health data obtained by the NSWNMA, a total of 2,279 nursing hours were not delivered to patients on medical and surgical wards in Blue Mountains District Hospital during 2021 and 2022.

NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary, Michael Whaites, said the figures were further evidence the NSW government’s preferred staffing model was no longer working effectively.

“Despite local nurses’ best efforts when they’re working short-staffed, the current system is not delivering safe care to patients when they need it most,” Mr Whaites said.

“All other mainland states have committed to a ratios system, yet NSW patients are being denied the care they deserve. This has to change, or we need the government to change.”

NSWNMA members from Blue Mountains Hospital Branch and Blue Mountains Mental Health Branch also called on all state election candidates to support the introduction of a safe nursing and midwifery ratio system on every shift, in every hospital in NSW.

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