More than 51,000 nurses and midwives across New South Wales have today been buoyed by NSW Labor’s pre-election announcement to fund a major nurse-to-patient ratios system, guaranteed in law.
Brett Holmes, General Secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA), welcomed the extensive ratios commitment by Labor leader Michael Daley and called on the Liberal-Nationals government to match it.
“We’re looking at the details but Labor’s ratios announcement today shows they are seriously listening to public hospital nurses and midwives,” Mr Holmes said.
“Finally, NSW could join the likes of Victoria and Queensland with mandated nurse-to-patient ratios and ensure patients receive the level of care they deserve.
“This is the first time a major NSW political party has supported ongoing calls from nurses and midwives to guarantee ratios on every shift.
“Labor’s commitment to introduce mandated, minimum nurse-to-patient ratios will provide a clear and accountable system that patients can rely on and nurses can trust at all times.
“This is an historic recognition of the dedication nurses and midwives display day in, day out at the bedside. It will allow them to deliver safe patient care across city and country NSW.
“A patient’s level of care should not be determined by their postcode. This has to stop.
“The new ratios system offered by Labor means mandated nurse-to-patient ratios on every shift in metropolitan and regional public hospitals, creating a clear understanding of how many patients each nurse and midwife will care for safely.”
Mr Holmes said if elected, Labor’s commitment would deliver nurse-to-patient ratios of 1:4 on day and afternoon shifts; and 1:7 on night shifts to the majority of public hospitals.
“Our overcrowded emergency departments and children’s wards have been crying out for nurse-to-patient ratios, finally these critical areas would have specific minimum staffing, mandated in law,” said Mr Holmes.
“Importantly, under Labor’s commitment of one midwife caring for three mothers in postnatal maternity wards, mothers and babies will finally get the support and education they need in those critical first few days.
“This would be a first for NSW and it is desperately needed. Many public hospital maternity wards are in crisis with not enough time for midwives to ensure all mothers feel confident and supported following the birth of a newborn.
“Labor’s nurse-to-patient ratios system goes further than what the Liberal-Nationals government has put on the table to date.
“Nurses and midwives across NSW call on the Liberal-Nationals government to change their policy and match today’s announcement by Labor,” concluded Mr Holmes.
Download this media release: Labor supports nurses and midwives with major ratios offer