New mothers in Bathurst and the surrounding areas are set to benefit from improved maternity services at Bathurst Base Hospital as a result of lobbying by the local branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA).
Birth Rate Plus data, a tool for calculating midwifery staffing, obtained by the Bathurst Base Hospital branch, showed additional full-time staff were needed to meet the Public Health System Nurses and Midwives’ (State) Award 2015.
Acting General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Judith Kiejda, said after months of negotiations, Western NSW Local Health District (Western NSW LHD) has agreed to boost the level of full-time equivalent staff working in the maternity unit at Bathurst Base Hospital.
“The review of Bathurst’s maternity staffing was completed by Western NSW LHD in December 2014, so we’ve been waiting over 12 months for this result,” Ms Kiejda said.
“It was clear that Western NSW LHD was operating its maternity services in breach of the Award, which is unacceptable in the delivery of safe patient care, particularly in a woman and child centered holistic environment.
“The branch’s initial negotiations with local management were positive but the decision then sat with LHD Executives from early last year until now.
“We’re very pleased with the end result as it will make way for a full time midwifery-led antenatal clinic.
“With a more acutely monitored antenatal clinic, women from Bathurst, Lithgow, Oberon and surrounding districts will get better pre-birth care to ensure optimal maternal care.
“Our members are delighted to know that the recruitment process will begin immediately.”
The NSWNMA will continue to work with Bathurst Hospital branch to ensure the Western NSW LHD fulfills its commitment and continues to honour the requirements of the Public Health System Nurses and Midwives’ (State) Award 2015.
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