Kyogle nurses take action against staffing cuts

Nurses believe the level of patient care delivered at Kyogle Memorial Multi Purpose Service (MPS) will be under threat from next week, when the Local Health District (LHD) cuts four hours of nursing care per day.

Instead of maintaining the Assistant in Nursing (AiN) hours, a Health & Security Assistant (HSA), whose current main duties within the MPS are cleaning and security, will replace the afternoon shift.

To protest the staffing changes and notify the community, members of the Kyogle Memorial hospital branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will gather outside the hospital at 1pm tomorrow.

Nursing staff are concerned that the removal of nursing hours will result in a lower standard of care for the aged care residents and may put both patient and staff safety at risk, as HSAs are not appropriately trained or qualified to provide personal care to Aged care residents within Kyogle Memorial MPS.

AiNs have a minimum certificate III qualification, such as the certificate III Health Services Assistance (Assisting in Nursing Work in Acute Care), or are second year undergraduate nursing students. Their formal training totals around 360 hours, whereas the HSAs will only receive three hours of basic training before they will be expected to provide and assist with personal care.

This year, the Federal Government granted Kyogle Memorial Multi Purpose Service $146,000 to open three additional Residential Aged Care Beds (RAC). To open the beds in March 2016, an additional eight AiN hours were added each day. From 12 September, the LHD plans to cut four hours of nursing care from these additional hours and replace them with a HSA.

Download this media release: Kyogle nurses take action against staffing cuts

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