Concord nurses to walk over unsafe staffing

Nurses will gather in their own time outside Concord Repatriation General Hospital tomorrow to highlight serious patient safety and understaffing issues across the facility.

For the past six months, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Concord hospital branch have raised concerns with Sydney Local Health District over widespread short staffing and poor skill mix issues (replacing registered nurses with less qualified nurses).

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said the nursing staff felt letdown by the Local Health District for failing to adequately address their concerns or implement any long-term solutions, and will be calling on the Health Minister to intervene.

“Since February, our members have been highlighting serious patient safety concerns at Concord hospital with the Local Health District, yet the same issues are present again today and the nursing staff are understandably frustrated,” said Mr Holmes.

“An increase in presentations has prompted the hospital to regularly open extra beds, without any additional nursing staff to meet the demand and ensure safe patient care is delivered.

“A rise in the number of patients requiring one-to-one nursing care, known as specialling, is also putting extra pressure on the remaining nursing staff, this results in other patients missing out on their fair share of care when no additional nursing staff are provided.

“With increasing workloads and little relief, understandably our members are experiencing fatigue and burn-out. There are a number of nurse vacancies still yet to be filled, with a heavy reliance on agency and casual staff, as well as overtime.

“Our members want to provide the best care possible, but instead are left feeling unsupported.  They’re disappointed Sydney Local Health District has not implemented adequate measures to address these widespread reoccurring issues, which are compromising their professional obligations, along with their commitment to provide safe patient care to the community.”

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