Gloucester aged care nurses cautiously welcome deal

After months in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), aged care nurses at Gloucester Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital have secured a five year deal, under a transfer arrangement between Hunter New England Local Health District and not-for-profit provider, Anglican Care.

Ongoing concerns over staffing transfers prompted the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) to lodge a dispute in the IRC back in February, highlighting serious issues linked to the transfer of public aged care beds to Anglican Care.

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said he was pleased the IRC matter had been resolved and offered some clarity to the aged care nurses impacted.

“Understandably, this has been a stressful period for our Gloucester aged care nurses. Particularly given the time it’s taken to get both Hunter New England LHD and Anglican Care to provide our members with a bit more certainty about their future,” said Mr Holmes.

“That said, there are still several issues yet to be resolved, including the number of aged care nurses who will be offered positions with Anglican Care and what the overall staffing profile will be.

“Anglican Care was awarded the tender for the aged care bed licences five years ago, and now just months out from their new facility opening, questions still remain about the amount of nursing care that will be provided to the residents.

Mr Holmes said securing the five year agreement arrangement for permanent aged care nurses who transfer was a welcome reprieve, but added the NSWNMA would continue to advocate for quality aged care alongside the Gloucester community.

“After raising public awareness of the issue over recent weeks, we’re grateful for the support shown to our members, from the families of aged care residents and the local community,” Mr Holmes said.

“Gloucester deserves access to quality aged care services, underpinned by safe staffing and an adequate mix of skilled nurses.”

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